Kent, NY – Carmel Police Officer Gary Pietropaolo was killed in an off-duty motor vehicle crash on June 7, when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a U.S. Postal Service truck.
Officer Pietropaolo’s wedding was to have taken place just over a week after the fatal crash, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
The incident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m., while the 29-year-old officer was riding his motorcycle on Route 301, according to The Journal News.
As a mail truck backed out of a driveway near Nimham Road, Officer Pietropaolo’s motorcycle collided with it.
Police arrived to the scene to find the truck parked diagonally across the roadway. Officer Pietropaolo was lying on the pavement.
He was rushed to a local medical facility but went into cardiac arrest before an emergency helicopter could transport him to a larger hospital.
Officer Pietropaolo was transported by ground ambulance to a different hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“The Carmel Police Department is extremely saddened by the loss of Officer Gary Pietropaolo,” the department said in a statement. “Officer Pietropaolo was a talented young man who took great pride in being a Carmel police officer. His tenacity for law enforcement was unparalleled and admired by his peers.”
“Gary was well liked and respected by all of his fellow officers and colleagues and will be sorely missed,” the statement read. “The entire town of Carmel extends its deepest sympathies to his family, fiancée and friends and wish them peace as they move through this difficult time.”
“He was so free-spirited,” his father, retired Yonkers Police Officer Gary Pietropaolo Sr. said during the funeral Mass on Tuesday, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. “We are so proud of him to accomplish so much.”
“The kid was as straight as an arrow,” he continued. “It’s because of him I’m a better person today. Son, the only thing that will keep me going is knowing that I will see you again someday.”
Officer Pietropaolo graduated from the Westchester County Police Academy in 2011 and went on to serve as a police officer at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
“We were on a cloud when he graduated [from the police academy,]” his father recalled.
Officer Pietropaolo joined the Carmel Police Department in 2016.
“It’s a tremendous loss to the town of Carmel,” said Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt, who was also a former Carmel police officer. “I swore him in. This is the community he wanted to work in. From day one, he made a difference.”
Officer Pietropaolo was laid to rest on Tuesday.
He leaves behind his fiancé, Jacqueline “Jaci” Krampitz, as well as his parents, sisters, and extended friends and family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Carmel Police Officer Gary Pietropaolo, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.