AMITY TWP., Pa. - The owner of an orchard that's been in his family for three generations has died of injuries he suffered when he was struck by a car on his property.
The victim, Daniel Shirey, was fixing the fence on his orchard when the car barreled into him, police said. He passed away Sunday after two operations, said family members.
"We're going to miss him. We were always able to go ask dad for advice," said Ernest Shirey, the victim's oldest son.
On Monday, Shirey's sons planned his funeral and stuck together through the pain and tragedy.
Shirey, 84, was hit by the car around 4 p.m. Friday in the 1500 block of Old Swede Road, also designated as Route 662 in Amity Twp., Berks Co.
"I was getting a tool out of my van and I heard it, and as soon as I turned I saw my father rolling down the fence and turning down," said Stephen Shirey, who was only feet away when the accident happened.
After the impact, Shirey was conscious but in pain. His sons said all he could think about was his wife, who suffers from diabetes and heart problems.
"The first thing he said to my brother is, 'How am I going to tell my wife.' He knew it would really shock her," said Eugene Shirey, who was also working on the orchard when the accident happened.
"Our mother has been so sick for so long. We never in a million years would have dreamed dad would be taken first," said Ernest Shirey.
The driver of the car, a 51-year-old woman, was taken into custody at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence, said police, adding that she failed all of the field sobriety tests she was given.
The driver initially denied drinking alcohol after being told by the officer that he smelled it on her breath, according to court documents.
The driver then admitted to having taken prescription medication about 45 minutes before the accident and drinking a beer when she got off work at a bank in Pottstown at 3:45, according to court documents.
"People just got to start thinking and using common sense, innocent lives are lost everyday because of this," said Ernest Shirey. "Maybe we can save somebody else their heartache that we are going through."
Charges against the driver have not yet been filed, police said.
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