Cape officer cleared of wrongdoing in college student’s death

Chatham victim Garrett Gagne_216475

CHATHAM, Mass. (WPRI) — A Cape Cod police officer who struck and killed a college student on New Year’s Day has been cleared of any wrongdoing, the Cape & Islands district attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

Chatham Officer Christopher Vardarkis was responding to a business alarm just after 4 a.m. when he ran over Garrett Gagne, who was lying in the street.

The investigation concluded that the collision was unavoidable. Gagne was found lying in the center of the southbound travel lane of Crowell Road, parallel with the center line, according to the DA’s office.

The area in which the accident occurred was determined to be pitch dark at the time, and Gagne was wearing a dark-blue flannel shirt with khaki shorts and dark brown shoes.

Garrett Gagne

There was no evidence to suggest he was struck by another vehicle beforehand.

Toxicology reports revealed that Gagne was impaired by alcohol and had illicit drugs in his system.

No mechanical defects were found in the police cruiser.

Gagne, 22, was transported to Cape Cod Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was a senior government major and lacrosse player for St. Lawrence University.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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