35th District police officer dies from injuries sustained in Broad Street collision

Philadelphia Police Officer Milan Merke, who was involved in a June 6 collison at Broad and Master streets en route to a North Philadelphia anti-violence event, died at Hahnemann University Hospital on Thursday night.

Merke was 28.

“I regret to inform everyone that Officer Milan Merke succumbed to the traumatic injuries he received from his motorcycle accident,” read a statement from a police department spokesperson released at 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Police said Friday that an investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Merke collided with a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt just before 8 p.m. June 6 while riding his 2007 Honda, according to police.

The car was turning left onto Master while traveling northbound on Broad. Merke, who was off-duty, was riding southbound on Broad at the time of the crash. The impact catapulted Merke, who was wearing a helmet, from his seat.

Officers, anti-violence activists mourn

After Merke was induced into a coma in an effort to reduce swelling and bleeding inside his brain, 35th District Capt. John McCloskey said fellow officers held out hope since “he’s got a lot of energy and a lot of heart.”

Organizers of the Midnight Run for Peace, the event Merke was heading towards before the crash, were also praying for the officer’s recovery.

“When one goes down, it affects everybody,” said Richard Dukes of Men United for a Better Philadelphia, who last visited Merke on Saturday. “He’s an outstanding young man who gives back to the community.”

Merke served in the 35th District, which covers portions of West Oak Lane and East Germantown, for four years.

Funeral details are not yet available.

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