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College Student Lying In Road Run Over By Chatham Police Cruiser

CHATHAM (CBS) -- A man was run over and apparently killed by a Chatham police cruiser early Thursday morning.

Police said the officer was driving southbound on Crowell Road responding to a burglary alarm just after 4 a.m. when he ran over something lying in the road.

According to police, the officer, who was not identified, immediately stopped the cruiser, noticed it was a young man, and called for assistance.

Police later identified him as 22-year-old Garrett Gagne of Longmeadow.

Garrett Gagne
Garrett Gagne. (Photo credit: St. Lawrence University)

Investigators don't know why Gagne was lying in the road or what his condition was before he was hit.

"We don't know the circumstances yet of his condition, prior to the accident. But our investigation should provide the answers soon," Chatham Police Chief Mark Pawlina said.

Gagne had come to Chatham to celebrate the New Year with friends, who were seen leaving the police station about noon Thursday. They declined to comment.

Gagne was a senior lacrosse player for St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.  He was scheduled to graduate in the spring.

"When Mike Mahoney, Garrett's lacrosse coach, contacted me this morning, he told me "Garrett was close to all of us on the team--a leader, mentor, and friend. His smile and enthusiasm were contagious. He could light up the field and sidelines with his personality. This sudden and shocking loss touches every one of us who knew him as one of our best," St. Lawrence President William Fox said in a statement Thursday.

According to Fox, Gagne captained both the lacrosse and ski racing teams at Longmeadow High School, where he was a three-time All-Scholastic honoree. He was also a two-time Massachusetts state champion in ski racing.

St. Lawrence set up a memorial Web site for friends to leave reflections and tributes to Gagne.

"When our campus community returns from break, we will plan a gathering to honor Garrett's memory," Fox said.

WBZ-TV's Bill Shields contributed to this report.


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