07/07/2010

Conn. Sgt. struck by drunk driver dies

Orville Smith, who was working traffic detail on Saturday night during the holiday weekend, succumbs to injuries

By PoliceOne Staff

Sergeant Orville Smith, a 64-year-old, 39-year veteran police officer with Shelton (Conn.) Police Department, has died from injuries he sustained on July 3, 2010 when he was struck by a vehicle operated by an intoxicated driver.

Sgt. Smith had been standing next to his patrol car while directing traffic after a private fireworks event when he and his patrol car were struck by a pickup truck at around 10:15 p.m. The driver, a 63-year-old man identified as Bruce Knapik of Bridgeport, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence — Knapik now faces charges related to the death of Sgt. Smith.

"The loss of Sgt. Orville Smith has deeply affected the entire Shelton Police Department. Sgt. Smith was a dedicated officer and his loss will affect the entire city," Shelton Police Chief Joel Hurliman said in a department press release.

Sgt. Smith was past President of the Shelton Police Association, United States Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, and a volunteer firefighter with the Shelton Fire Department White Hills Company Number 5. He is survived by his wife Nancy.

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