Trooper Thomas Clardy /Credit: Massachusetts State Police
Massachusetts State trooper killed in crash on Mass Pike
44-year-old state trooper — a U.S. Marine vet — was killed today on the Mass Pike in Charlton after a car slammed into his cruiser during a traffic stop, officials announced today.
Trooper Thomas Clardy, a married father of six children, was pronounced dead at the hospital after being rushed by ambulance to UMass Medical Center in Worcester.
At approximately noon, Clardy stopped a Chevy Tahoe for a traffic violation in the westbound side of the Pike, said state police Col. Richard McKeon.
While processing the motor vehicle stop, Clardy’s Ford Explorer police cruiser was struck from behind by a black Nissan Maxima witnesses said was traveling “at a high rate of speed,” McKeon said.
“For reasons that are still under investigation, the Maxima suddenly swerved to the right, crossed all three travel lanes and without slowing struck the rear of Trooper Clardy’s cruiser with the trooper inside,” he said.
“The tremendous impact of the crash pushed the cruiser into the Tahoe stopped in front of it and off that vehicle, and onto the grassy side of the highway,” he said.
State troopers who responded to the scene worked frantically to administer aid to Clardy, who McKeon said was found inside the cruiser with “traumatic injuries.”
Traffic on the Pike was backed up for more than 10 miles at the time.
The operator of the Maxima, David Njuguna, 30, of Webster, was MedFlighted by helicopter also to UMass Medical Center with “serious injuries,” McKeon said.
Njuguna will be criminally summonsed on a charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failing to stay within marked lanes, McKeon said. State police officials are also seeking an immediate suspension of his license and may seek additional charges, McKeon said.
Trooper Clardy was a U.S. Marine veteran who joined the state police in April 2005. He graduated as a member of the state police academy’s 77th recruit training troop.
He was assigned to the Charlton barracks in November 2012.
“He was extremely well-liked by the men and women he worked with and had a reputation as a hard worker, a good trooper and a great man,” McKeon said of Clardy. “He was known for his professionalism and dedication. All who knew him have today born witness to his outstanding character.”
Trooper Clardy is survived by his wife and their six children, who range in age from 4 to 17 years old.
“Today we pray for him, we pray for them, the Massachusetts state police are devastated for their loss,” McKeon said. “We will never be able to fill the hole that is left in their lives from this day forward but they will always be part of the state police family. We will forever hold them tight to our hearts for the rest of their lives.”
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