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    Monday, July 15, 2024

    K-9 of state trooper Pelletier to be retired, given to family

    The K-9 of Aaron Pelletier, the Connecticut state trooper who died last week after being hit by a vehicle on Interstate 84, will be retired and given to the fallen trooper's family, officials say.

    In a release on Thursday, Connecticut State Police Lt. Anthony Cristy said the state police K-9 unit anticipates an "imminent retirement for K9 Roso, who will remain with the Pelletier family."

    Pelletier, 34, was driving east on Interstate 84 in Southington, looking for traffic violators through a High Visibility Motor Vehicle Enforcement grant to reduce deadly crashes when he spotted someone who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, state police said. He pulled the person over and was outside of his patrol car, talking to the driver, when a red pickup sideswiped his cruiser and struck him, police said. His police dog, Roso, was in the vehicle but and was not injured, police said.

    Pelletier was with the Connecticut State Police for nine years. He is survived by a wife and two sons.

    Alex Oyola-Sanchez, 44, of Zion Street in Hartford, has been charged in the fatal hit-and-run crash, state police said Friday. Oyola-Sanchez was charged with second-degree manslaughter and seven other charges, including illegal operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and evading, police said. He admitted to doing drugs earlier in the day, they said.

    According to his obituary, Pelletier was a dedicated husband and father to his family.

    "His strong family morals were evident with the love that was expressed in every moment...," it said.

    When it came to his family members — his wife, Dominique, and his young sons, Troy and Zachary — "Everything revolved around their happiness," the obit said.

    More than 1,500 people attended Pelletier's funeral on Wednesday. Hundreds of police officers and state troopers were at the funeral at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford. Officers from Enfield to New Haven and troopers from Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine were among the men and women in uniform.

    State Police Col. Daniel Loughman said Pelletier, whom he commanded at Troop H in Hartford, will receive two awards posthumously, one of them a Lifesaving Medal for saving a motorcyclist a week before he died. The biker crashed and was experiencing blood loss, and Pelletier pressed his hands on the rider's artery to stop the flow of blood, Loughman said.

    He also will receive a Medal of Honor for making the ultimate sacrifice, Loughman said.

    "Every time I saw him he had a smile on his face. It was clear that he loved being a state trooper," Loughman said. "He was a role model and mentor to new troopers. Our state has truly lost a dedicated servant."

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