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Man accused of striking, killing fire chief had prior DUI arrest - abc27 WHTM

Man accused of striking, killing York Co. fire chief had prior DUI arrest

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LOGANVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) -

It's not the first time that 31-year-old Matthew Diehl of Glen Rock has been behind bars for allegedly getting behind the wheel drunk. In 2006 he spent 72 hours in prison after he pleaded guilty to a DUI. In the wake of a local fire chief's death, he has now been charged with homicide. 

Black on red is a color combination that shows that hearts have been broken inside of the Loganville Fire Department.  

"He was a volunteer fire chief. He's not getting paid to do this, but he's standing out on the side of a roadway at midnight trying to help out at a crash scene. And then his life gets taken," said Trooper Rob Hicks of the Pennsylvania State Police. 

Chief Rodney Miller was in the process of blocking off I-83 near Glen Rock early Saturday morning when police say Diehl attempted to pass the stopped traffic. He then swerved into the closed lane and struck Miller. According to police, Diehl did not stop his car. 

"He continued on approximately two more miles until he was stopped in the back log of some other traffic," said Hicks. 

Chief Miller died shortly after at York hospital.

"He made sure that his members were taken care of without a doubt," said Chief David Michaels of the York City Fire Department. 

On Sunday a memorial service was held for the man who was adored by his community and colleagues. 

Monday morning Bernell Kohler, a fire policeman in Dallastown, said he would keep Miller in mind as he prepared to direct traffic himself.  

"He was a swell guy. He was always smiling, he was understanding," said Kohlr, "I don't think I ever hear him say anything unkind."

abc27 spoke with Chief Miller on many occasions during his career. 

"You do the job the best you can do with the resources that you have and you hope for the best," he said to our cameras in January in 2006. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one-third of all drunk drivers have had previous DUI arrests. If Diehl is convicted he will fall under that sad statistic.

Services will be held for Chief Miller Friday at 10 a.m. in Loganville.

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