Connecticut State Police officer killed in hit-and-run on I-84

A Connecticut State Police trooper was killed Thursday by a fleeing driver while conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 84, state police said.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that the Connecticut State Police announce the line of duty death of Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier #536 of Troop H-Hartford,” the state police said in a statement.

State police previously said Troop H was investigating a serious injury crash on I-84 eastbound in the area of ​​Exit 31 in Southington.

The agency further stated that shortly after 2:30 p.m. Thursday on I-84 East in Southington, just before Exit 31, Pelletier was struck during a traffic stop by a passing vehicle outside his patrol car “that left the scene of the accident.”

Pelletier suffered fatal injuries in the accident and was pronounced dead at the scene, state police said.

The suspected fleeing driver was located shortly thereafter and is in custody, state police said.

Pelletier was a member of the 125th Training Squad and served with the Connecticut State Police for nine years.

“TFC Pelletier served the citizens of the state of Connecticut with unwavering dedication, pride and professionalism and his sacrifice will never be forgotten,” state police said.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday he has ordered U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to be flown at half-staff in Pelletier's honor. The flags are to remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of the funeral, which has not yet been set.

“I am devastated to learn of the loss of Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier, who was killed today in the line of duty to the people of Connecticut,” Lamont said.

“This is a tragic reminder of the dangers police face every day when they leave their homes and go to work. Trooper Pelletier served Connecticut with honor, integrity and dedication, and he embodies the definition of public service,” Lamont said. “His courage and bravery will never be forgotten. On behalf of the State of Connecticut, my condolences and prayers go out to his family, friends, and his brothers and sisters in the Connecticut State Police. I ask the people of Connecticut to keep Trooper Pelletier in their prayers.”

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said she was “heartbroken to learn of the death of Trooper First Class Pelletier.”

“The members of the Connecticut State Police are known for their unwavering devotion to one another and for maintaining incredibly high standards of policing – but most of all, for their unwavering commitment to protecting and serving others and our state.

“State troopers are on our roads every day to protect the public – it is tragic to know that this trooper lost his life during a routine traffic stop,” she said. “I would ask residents to remain alert and cautious at all times when driving, but especially when State Police are on the roads doing their job. My prayers are with Trooper Pelletier's family and colleagues.”

US Senator Richard Blumenthal said: “Pelletier courageously answered the call of duty this afternoon and made the ultimate sacrifice.”

“His death is a tragic reminder of the dangers all first responders face in the course of their work and a stark reminder to drivers that they must slow down and yield to stopped emergency vehicles,” Blumenthal said. “On our roadways, failure to slow and yield are common causes of death, and this loss should be a lesson that saves the lives of other brave first responders. My prayers are with the Pelletier family and the entire Connecticut State Police as they mourn this loss.”

US Senator Chris Murphy

US Senator Chris Murphy also expressed his dismay at Pelletier's death in the line of duty.

“TFC Pelletier bravely served the people of Connecticut for nearly a decade and his death is a terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with his family and friends, as well as the men and women of the Connecticut State Police,” Murphy said.

Attorney General William Tong also said he was “absolutely heartbroken for the family of Trooper First Class Aaron Pelletier.”

“We all need to pray for and support his family and friends and every police officer and law enforcement officer in the state, especially those who worked with Trooper Pelletier and those who are still on our streets now, protecting our communities in the midst of this tragedy,” Tong said. “This shows how much risk our police officers and law enforcement officers take every day to keep us safe. For all we know, this didn't have to happen. We must do everything we can to stop the dangerous and reckless driving that is endangering people, families and our law enforcement officers everywhere on our highways today.”

Senate Republican Leader Stephen Harding said, “Our state mourns together the tragic loss of State Police First Class Trooper Aaron Pelletier, and we pray for his family.”

“Trooper Pelletier died in the line of duty for the people of Connecticut. He made the ultimate sacrifice while doing his job and protecting the public. We are all deeply saddened. His dedication and bravery will never be forgotten.”

During the investigation, Interstate 84 eastbound was closed.

Anna Harden

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