PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a roll call Andy Chan has not attended in more than five weeks. The motorcycle officer and 24-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Highway Patrol was heading into work on Jan. 3 when a 79-year-old man struck him with a van.
“I got a call from the commanding officer of the 15th District, where it occurred at, I got on my motorcycle and went straight to the hospital,” Anthony Luca said. “When he came in with the paramedics, you could tell he was critically injured.”
Chan has serious head injuries, but his commanding officer Luca says everyone is hopeful.
“From the doctor’s vantage point, he’s doing really well,” Luca said. “He’s two months ahead of schedule. His eyes are open.”
But Chan has a long recovery ahead, so his fellow officers are doing everything they can to help out their friend and his family.
Fellow officers Ed Ruth and Scott Holmes have designed and created a challenge coin.
“It’s a snap shot of a man’s career,” Ruth said. “He’s been decorated with the Medal of Valor, Medal of Bravery, Medal of Heroism, some of them more than once.”
One side is decked out with Chan’s accomplishments, and the other includes a nod to the unique way Chan greets people.
“Andy likes to greet fellow highway patrolmen with a, ‘Highway!’” Ruth said.
Officers Ruth and Holmes say they have already sold out of the first batch.
“We sold 1,000 in approximately two-and-a-half days,” Holmes said.
It’s a testament, perhaps, to how loved Chan is both inside and outside of the department.
“He’s just a great human being. I don’t want to understate that in any way,” Ruth said.
And every cent raised of the coin’s $20 cost will help Chan’s family.
“There is always going to be worries for Andy,” Holmes said. “But as far as being able to compensate or help them with any of their bills, this money is going directly to their family and whatever their needs are.”
“Our prayers are that we’ll be able to stand next to him one day for roll call again,” Ruth said.
If you would like a coin, email OfficerChanCoins@comcast.net.