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Hero Down: Philadelphia Police Officer Henry ‘Hank’ Gonski Killed In Crash On Way Home From Work

Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) Officer Henry “Hank” Gonski died in an off-duty crash while traveling home from work on June 24.

The 50-year-old officer had just gotten of work and was blocks away from his home when a speeding BMW t-boned his Hyundai on Bustleton Avenue, KYW reported.

The BMW then crashed into a tree, according to WCAU.

The 18-year-old driver of the BMW and two passengers, ages 16 and 17, were not injured in the collision, PPD Chief Inspector Scott Small told KYW.

Officer Gonski was pronounced dead just minutes after he was pulled from the wreckage of his vehicle, WCAU reported.

Chief Inspector Small said the driver of the vehicle that hit Officer Gonski did not seem to be impaired, but he noted investigators believe speed was a factor in the deadly crash.

The investigation into the collision remained ongoing on Friday and no charges had been filed, WCAU reported.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby confirmed Officer Gonski’s death in a press release the following day, KYW reported.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we learn of the tragic passing of dedicated, police officer, Henry Gonski, III killed in an off-duty accident last night,” McNesby said. “Our friend and colleague served this city for some 27 years with distinction, honor and integrity. We pray for his family, friends, and colleagues. The FOP will never forget his dedication and contributions to the police department and this city.”

Officer Gonski was most recently assigned to the PPD’s Philadelphia International Airport Unit, according to his obituary.

He leaves behind his mother, sister, and his niece.

Officer Gonski is also survived by his aunts, uncles, godmother, and his cousins.

He will be laid to rest on June 30.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Philadelphia Police Department Officer Henry “Hank” Gonski, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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