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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