Tolland, CT – Connecticut State Police Trooper First Class Kevin Miller died in the line of duty on Thursday afternoon, when his patrol car collided with the back of a tractor trailer.
Trooper Miller, 49, was traveling in the right-hand lane of I-84 at approximately 12:30 p.m., when his patrol vehicle impacted the rear of a tractor trailer that was moving slower than the flow of traffic, WFSB reported.
The driver of the tractor trailer was uninjured, the Hartford Courant reported.
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the tragic loss of Trooper First Class Miller – a man who dedicated his life to serving the people of Connecticut,” Governor Dannel Malloy said in a Thursday press release. “State troopers and members of law enforcement put their lives on the line each and every day in order to selflessly protect the people of our state, and they deserve our utmost respect for the service they provide.”
Trooper Miller, a marine veteran, served the Connecticut State Police for 19 years, and was just months away from retirement.
A procession of troopers responded to the scene at approximately 4:30 p.m. to escort their fallen comrade to Troop C for a brief memorial, the Hartford Courant reported. They then accompanied his body to the medical examiner’s office in Farmington.
Along the route, the procession passed under flags draped from overpasses and held above tower ladders. Motorists pulled over, and hundreds of officers and firefighters lined the roadway in honor of the father of two.
The state medical examiner determined that the trooper died from blunt trauma injuries to his torso and head, NECN reported.
Trooper Miller graduated from the state’s police academy in 1999, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection commissioner Dora Schiriro told the Hartford Courant.
Before being assigned to Troop C in Tolland, Trooper Miller served with Troop E in Montville, and Troop K in Colchester, Schiriro said.
A man from Trooper Miller’s neighborhood, who asked not to be named, said that the trooper was a good father to his son and daughter, the Hartford Courant reported.
“From the summer sounds in that yard, they all enjoyed life,” the neighbor said.
Gov. Malloy hailed law enforcement officers in the wake of the trooper’s death.
“As they protect us from harm, these brave men and women personify what it means to be a public servant,” he said, according to the press release. “On behalf of the entire State of Connecticut, I send my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and State Police colleagues. I ask the people of Connecticut to keep Trooper First Class Miller and his family in their prayers.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Connecticut State Police Trooper First Class Kevin Miller, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.