Bensalem cop dies running 5K in the Northeast

Detective Kevin Cornish

A Bensalem Township police officer collapsed fatally during the annual 19154 5k race held by St. Anselm Parish in Parkwood on Saturday.

Authorities in the Bucks County municipality identified the victim as Detective Kevin Cornish, 42, a 17-year police veteran assigned to his department’s Special Victims Unit. Philadelphia police said that he was participating in the 5,000-meter event when he collapsed at about 9:37 a.m. near Academy and Torrey roads.

Several off-duty nurses who were participating in the event and an on-duty Philadelphia police officer administered CPR to the unconscious Cornish in freezing cold and wet conditions until paramedics arrived and took him to Aria Health’s Torresdale Campus, police and witnesses said. Cornish was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:19 a.m.

“The nurses did an extraordinary job trying to keep him alive. They worked very hard,” said Officer Joe Hansbury of the 8th Police District.

Cornish is survived by his wife, Tina, and 11-year-old daughter, Morgan Elizabeth. In June, his department and the Bensalem Rotary Club honored him as the township’s Police Officer of the Year in part for his efforts to collect donations for two girls who had been removed from an abusive home with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Through that effort, he established ongoing ties with local stores to support future child abuse victims.

A former member of Bensalem’s motorcycle patrol and its SWAT unit, Cornish was also a volunteer soccer coach for the United German-Hungarian Club in Oakford and Council Rock United in Richboro.

Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran described Cornish as “a hardworking guy who gave 110 percent,” according to the Inquirer.

“The criminal justice system took a hit today because Kevin’s no longer part of it,” Harran said. “There are certainly today, without a doubt, a lot less victims in this world” because of Cornish.

The 19154 5k is an annual event begun by St. Anselm in 2013 to raise money for its youth programs. It’s held on the Saturday before the Super Bowl each year.

The administrator of the event’s Facebook page shared a message of condolence to Cornish’s family and friends on Saturday night originally posted by the Bensalem Police Department. In a separate post, the administrator described this year’s race as “record setting” with more participation and sponsorship, along with “lower temperatures” than in previous years. The average temperature on Saturday was 21 degrees. ••