Former Brookhaven police officer Adam Brown and his wife, Michelle, marked their fifth wedding anniversary on Thursday.
The parents of two were to celebrate the milestone Saturday by going out in style in a 2005 red Lamborghini that Brown had rented for the event.
But instead of a day of celebration, Saturday became a day of mourning after Brown and his passenger, Geoffrey Kleiman, were killed in a crash in the Lamborghini Friday night in Southwest Philadelphia.
Police released the identity of the men yesterday. Kleiman, 60, of Broomall, was a friend and business associate of Brown, 29, of Media, who founded his in-home care business, Home Helpers, before resigning from the Brookhaven police force in 2004.
"Everybody was a friend to Adam," Michelle Brown said, "and everybody was family."
According to police, Brown was speeding on Essington Avenue near Bartram when he lost control of the Lamborghini during a turn and crossed over into oncoming traffic.
The Lamborghini was struck by a Mercury Villager minivan and a Subaru Forester.
Brown and Kleiman were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the minivan, a 41-year-old man, was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he remains in critical condition with wounds to his chest, abdomen and leg, police said.
The driver of the Forester, a 45-year-old man, suffered only minor injuries.
"I just don't think he knew how fast that car was," Michelle Brown said.
Brown was just 19 when he joined the Brookhaven police in 1999. He was on the force for five years and, in 2002, while still serving as a cop, he also founded Home Helpers of Drexel Hill to provide nonmedical home care to seniors, working parents and those needing recuperative services.
"He just enjoyed helping people," Michelle Brown said. "His grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's and that's what drove him to open this business.
"He was actually able to help her through the business."
Brown retired from the police force in 2004 to devote more time to his family and Home Helpers, his wife said.
The couple has two children, a 4-year-old girl and a 14-month-old boy.
"Every day he just wanted us to be happy," Michelle Brown said. "And I can say, for him, that he lived every day to the fullest." *