Robert M. Peck

Robert McCracken Peck, a Hill resident and prominent conservationist, was struck by a motorist on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 18.

Hill residents who are friends of Peck, a senior fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University who has published numerous books and articles of his world travels, said he had been hit while trying to cross a busy street to get to the Highland Station station at  Highland Avenue and Seminole Street.

A section of St. Martin’s Lane and Seminole Street next to the station has been closed for a Water Department project. Combined with the ongoing closure of the Willow Grove Avenue bridge, commuters have been left with few options of crossing West Chestnut Hill, snarling traffic during rush hour.

“The whole scene was chaos – full of commuters and parents trying to drive their kids to school.,” said Ellen Hass, a Springside Chestnut Hill Academy administrator and a personal friend of Peck who arrived at the scene right after the accident.

Hass said that she had heard from Peck’s family that he is hospitalized and that his condition is improving.

“I am happy to report that while Bob suffered multiple fractures, his family says he is slowly getting better each day,” she said.

“Bob is one of the most beloved people in  Philadelphia and the entire conservation world,” said Art Howe, a local resident and former Chestnut Hill Community Association board member who knows Peck. “This is extremely distressing.”

As for work going on in the area that has been causing traffic confusion where the accident occurred, Chestnut Hill Community Association outgoing Community Manager Celeste Hardester told the Local that the CHCA will be meeting with the Water Department on Monday, Nov. 23.

This story was updated with information from Ellen Hass at 10:00 a.m., Nov. 21