SOMERVILLE, NJ – Investigators continue to seek information connected with the hit-and-run death of volunteer firefighter George Kavanaugh in front of the Lincoln Hose Co. firehouse on Warren Street six years ago.

Kavanaugh, a former chief of the Somerville Fire Department and life-long resident of the borough, was struck and killed by a vehicle while standing outside the Lincoln Hose Fire Company firehouse on March 6, 2015 according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Little is known publicly beyond what information investigators pieced together immediately after the incident, according to Robertson.

Kavanaugh, who was 75, and other firefighters had returned to the firehouse after attending a viewing for a fallen firefighter; while waiting for a ride outside the firehouse Kavanaugh was struck by a vehicle that sped off from the scene around 9:25 p.m. according to Robertson.

An eyewitness told investigators a light-colored SUV had been idling and parked in the area of the front bay near the firehouse door minutes before backing up and striking Kavanaugh, Robertson said.

A reward of up to $15,000 is being offered for the identification, arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the hit-and-run fatality of Kavanaugh. The reward is being offered by Somerset County Crime Stoppers (up to $10,000) and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office (up to $5,000), according to Robertson and Somerset County Sheriff Darrin Russo.

Kavanaugh led a life marked by service to others, according to his obituary. He was a specialist in the U.S. Army from 1959-1962; throughout his career in maintenance for Johns-Manville, Immaculate Conception Church and School, and Lab Corp, retiring in 1999; and most notably as a life member of the Somerville Fire Department Engine Company #1 with 50 years of service.

Kavanaugh held various leadership positions within the Fire Department, including chief of the Somerville Fire Department, 1984-1985, and president, 2000-2001, and participated in the procurement of two new fire engines. He was also a trustee of the Somerville Fire Department Relief Association for over 25 years, a life member of the NJ Fireman's Association and member of the Somerset County Chief's Association.

Kavanaugh was an active member in the American Legion Post 12 in Somerville, a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Bridgewater, an honorary member of the South Bound Brook Fire Company and belonged to the Middlesex Elks Lodge and the Bound Brook Moose Lodge. 

Robertson requests anyone with information relating to this hit-and-run fatality to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or via the STOPit app.

The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ.

Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.