Hero Down: Connecticut State Trooper Danielle Miller Killed
Wolcott, CT – An off-duty Connecticut State Police trooper was killed in a head-on collision with another vehicle on Saturday night, the Connecticut State Police confirmed on Sunday.
According to the Naugatuck Valley Accident Reconstruction Team, the crash occurred at 8:48 p.m., when the off-duty trooper was in her patrol car and collided with and an oncoming 2004 Ford pickup head-on, NECN reported.
Neighbors told WTNH that a horn from one of the vehicles blared until police arrived.
“They had to use the jaws of life to cut the roof right off” of Trooper Miller’s patrol car in order to free her, Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens said in a press conference.
The drivers of both vehicles were transported for emergency medical care. There were no passengers in either vehicle.
The pickup driver, 30-year-old Aric Rivkin, was treated for non-life threatening injuries, and released from the hospital, NECN reported.
Rivkin is cooperating with the investigation.
"It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that the Connecticut State Police announce the passing of Trooper Danielle Miller # 1221 as a result of injuries sustained during an off-duty motor vehicle accident in Wolcott last night," the Connecticut State Police (CSP) said in a statement following the young trooper’s death, according to NECN.
“We are grateful for her dedicated service to the Connecticut State Police and the residents of Connecticut, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time,” the CSP said.
Trooper Miller graduated from the Connecticut State Police Academy on Dec. 11, 2014, WTNH reported.
She was a member of the 124th Training Group, and was assigned to Troop L in Litchfield.
Multiple agencies are working together to investigate the crash, and police said the investigation may take several weeks. Authorities said they did not know what had caused the collision.
According to Chief Stephens, one of the sergeants who responded to the scene told him that he had also been one of Trooper Miller’s instructors at the police academy.
“He had her in a class and said she was very energetic, very physically fit and a hard worker,” Chief Stephens recounted. “We were hoping because of her condition and her young age she would be able to pull through, but that sadly was not the case.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Connecticut State Police Trooper Danielle Miller, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.