• Search

Hero Down: New Haven Police Officer Diane Gonzalez Dies 13 Years After Slipping Into Coma From On-Duty Crash

New Haven, CT – New Haven Police Department (NHPD) Officer Diane Gonzalez died in the line of duty Jan. 10, more than 13 years after she was left in a coma due to an on-duty car crash.

Officer Gonzalez was 47 years old and had been with the NHPD for 13 years when she was dispatched to a report of a violent domestic dispute at 11:23 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2008, the Hartford Courant reported.

The caller told the dispatcher a man was beating a woman in front of her children at 53 Maltby Street.

“Are they coming?” the frantic caller asked in the 911 call as the woman screamed in the background. “He’s going to kill her!”

Officer Gonzalez and NHPD Sergeant Dario “Scott” Aponte, 43, were responding to the call in separate patrol cars when they crashed into each other at the intersection of Chapel Street and East Street, the Hartford Courant reported.

They were less than two miles away from the scene of the domestic disturbance when the horrific collision occurred.

“If one of those vehicles had gotten to that intersection five seconds later, they would have gotten to that call and handled it,” Police Chief James Lewis said at the time, according to the Hartford Courant.

Sgt. Aponte, a 17-year NHPD veteran, was killed instantly.

He left behind his wife, a fellow NHPD officer, who had recently given birth to their fourth child, the New Haven Independent reported.

Rescuers had to cut Officer Gonzalez out of the wreckage of her police cruiser.

The veteran officer suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash and remained in a coma for the rest of her life, the Hartford Courant reported.

When additional officers arrived at the scene of the domestic disturbance, the victim and the suspect were gone, according to police.

Investigators were able to track them down later, but the woman did not have any visible injuries would not cooperate with police, the Hartford Courant reported.

No arrests were made.

Officer Gonzalez succumbed to her injuries on Monday, according to her department.

She leaves behind her two daughters, her son, and her grandchildren.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New Haven Police Department Officer Diane Gonzalez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."