Conn. trooper swept away by Hurricane Ida flooding dies

The trooper was found downstream several hours after his distress call prompted a massive search


By Suzie Ziegler 

WOODBURY, Conn. — A Connecticut state trooper has died after his cruiser was swept away during flooding caused by Hurricane Ida, reported FOX 61.

According to NBC Connecticut, police received a call around 3:30 a.m. from the trooper, who said he was in distress and that his cruiser was being carried by floodwater. The call prompted a massive search that included nine fire departments, three airplanes and a dive team, The CT Mirror reported. Authorities quickly found the cruiser, but it took several more hours to find the trooper, according to the report.

"This is the 25th line of duty death in the history of the Connecticut State Police, " Col. Stavros Mellekas said during a press conference. "We lost another member of our family."

The trooper was identified as a 26-year veteran of the agency. Officials said they are withholding the trooper's name at the request of his family, according to FOX 61.

Woodbury Fire Chief Janet Morgan said the cruiser was swept off a bridge and into the Pomperaug River. 

“It’s an area that we have known to flood quickly in the past,” Morgan told The CT Mirror. “It’s on one of our back roads and is not well lit and [the trooper] could have come across the bridge and not seen the water coming over the top.” 

According to Morgan, the river was about six feet over its flooding stage at the time. 

NEXT: 3 NJ LEOs swept away in flooding fired guns to signal for help

 

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