A member of the Carmel Police Department was killed late Thursday afternoon when his motorcycle was struck by a U.S. mail truck on Route 301 in Kent Cliffs.
Officer Gary Pietropaolo, 29, joined the Carmel Police force in 2016.
Kent Police Chief Alex DiVernieri said Pietropaolo was traveling eastbound along the winding road in the vicinity of the Kent Firehouse near Nimham Road when the mail truck pulled out of a driveway and collided with the cyclist.
Pietropaolo was knocked to the pavement upon impact. Kent FD personnel rushed to the scene along with a paramedic from the EM STAR Ambulance Company and administered to the gravely injured officer as a call went out for a medivac helicopter to respond.
However, while en route to Huestis Park off Farmers’ Mills Road where the chopper was to land and transport the victim to the Westchester Medical Center, Officer Pietropaolo went into cardiac arrest and the ambulance was diverted to Putnam Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Chief DiVernieri said the driver of the mail truck, Mary Gosney-Hyatt, 57, of Holmes, remained at the scene and was not summoned pending completion of the accident investigation.
Pietropaolo had been scheduled to take a sergeant’s exam on Saturday for a possible promotion and was due to be married a week from Saturday to his sweetheart.
His father is a retired Yonkers Police officer who trained a number of police canines used by agencies throughout the area. Gary Pietropaolo, Sr., is also a member of the Putnam FOP Motorcycle Unit.
Pietropaolo resided in Fishkill and graduated from the Westchester Police Academy in 2011. He began his career with the SUNY New Paltz Police Department.
JoAnn Viola, President of the Driscoll Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police in Putnam County, expressed her sympathy to the young officer’s family and fiancée on behalf of all law enforcement personnel throughout the region.
Carmel Police Chief Michael Cazzari said the men and women of his department were “deeply saddened by the loss. Officer Pietropaolo was a talented young man who took great pride in being a police officer. His tenacity for law enforcement was unparalleled and admired by his peers.”
Chief DiVernieri said the investigation into the tragic crash is continuing by members of his department in conjunction with the Putnam Sheriff’s Dept. and Dutchess County Sheriff’s Dept.