Burien City Council Honors Hit-And-Run Victim Jeff Kearney


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At Monday night’s (May 3) meeting, the Burien City Council honored mentally-challenged hit-and-run victim Jeff Kearney, starting off the session with a reading of a proclamation in his honor.

Accompanied by Discover Burien Event Coordinator Debra George and Mike Lindorff, his legal guardian and uncle, Kearney stood in front of the council with the aide of a walker, and appeared excited about the ceremony.

After Mayor Joan McGilton read the proclamation aloud, Kearney not only received a standing ovation, he also got a huge hug from councilmember Kathy Keene.

Here’s the proclamation:

PROCLAMATION OF THE CITY OF BURIEN, WASHINGTON

A PROCLAMATION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BURIEN, WASHINGTON, HONORING Jeff Kearney

WHEREAS, Jeff worked endlessly for Discover Burien keeping our city free of debris and trash.  He rounded up stray shopping carts and helped out at many community events including Clean Sweep, Father’s Day Car Show, 4th of July Parade, Boo in Burien, Oktoberfest, and Winterfest.

WHEREAS, Jeff Kearney volunteered his time for the City of Burien and Discover Burien Farmers Market setting up tables, helping vendors set up their booths and helping Debra George with additional tasks.

WHEREAS, Jeff Kearney would say “Can I have just one hug”……everyone who knows Jeff knows that all he wants at the end of the day is a hug from his friends.

WHEREAS, Jeff Kearney never forgot the name of anyone he met, nor the names of their husband, brother, sister, mother, children, pets or friends.

WHEREAS, Jeff Kearney is an ambassador of Burien and White Center.

WHEREAS, Jeff Kearney survived despite all odds.  The victim of a hit and run accident on November 17th, 2009, Jeff continues to fight to gain back the ability to walk, talk and live his life again.  For this Jeff, we wish you all the best in your continued recuperation.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BURIEN, WASHINGTON, DOES HEREBY ASK ALL BURIEN CITIZENS TO JOIN TOGETHER TO HONOR Jeff Kearney

For his friendly face, endless amount of energy, can-do attitude and commitment to the City of Burien community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Burien City Council urges all citizens and Business owners to join us in our expression of appreciation for his dedication and invaluable service to Burien’s Community.

Dated this 3rd day of May, 2010.

Mayor Joan McGilton

Deputy Mayor Rose Clark

Councilmember Brian Bennett

Councilmember Jack Block, Jr.

Councilmember Lucy Krakowiak

Councilmember Kathy Keene

Councilmember Gordon Shaw

City of Burien
Joan McGilton
Mayor

Here are photos from Monday night’s ceremony as taken by Scott Schaefer

With the aid of his "boss" Debra George and a walker, Jeff stood up in front of the council.

Jeff listens to Mayor McGilton read the proclamation as his Uncle Mike Lindorff, Debra George and Lucky Krakowiak look on.

After receiving a standing ovation from the crowd, Jeff also received a huge hug from councilmember Kathy Keene.

Jeff was all smiles after being honored by the city for which he has worked so hard.

Jeff was the victim of a hit-and-run in a White Center crosswalk at 16th SW and SW 106th in November. He went in to a temporary coma, suffering from brain trauma, multiple broken bones and other injuries. His recovery slowly continues over the months as he fights to re-learn to walk and perform basic daily functions.

Kearney has worked for years as part of Burien Team Clean Sweep, which is part of the nonprofit Discover Burien Association. A familiar face around Burien and White Center, he has volunteered untold hours at community events, ranging from the Father’s Day Car Show to Winterfest.

Kearney also helped out by regularly performing a variety of tasks at Burien’s Farmers Market, which opens its season this Thursday (May 6), and we here at The B-Town Blog look forward to seeing his smiling face there again!

Sadly, the hit-and-run driver is still at large. Discover Burien is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the responsible person. Anyone having information should contact the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311 or 911.

The suspect vehicle had damage to the left front fender, and lost its driver’s side exterior rear-view mirror at the scene. It is probably maroon in color, a Chevrolet or GMC product, and is likely one of the following models:

  • GM or Chevrolet full size pick-up: 1988-1989
  • Blazer or Jimmy: 1992-1994
  • Suburban: 1992-1999
  • GMC Yukon: 1992-1999
  • Chevrolet Tahoe: 1995-1999

If you recognize the suspect vehicle or have any leads, please call the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-3311 (24 hours) or 911.

Read our previous coverage on Jeff’s story here.

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