On November 8, 2012, Troop H held its Troop Commander’s Award Ceremony at Medi-Tech Corporation in Canton, MA. Thirty-eight (38) members of the Department along with (2) Framingham officers and (2) civilians were honored during the ceremony. Over eighty (80) family members and friends joined Troop H Commander, Major Thomas Grenham and Division Commander of Field Services, LTC Edward Amodeo in congratulating the recipients.
The ceremony was highlighted by the Troop Commander’s Award which was presented to Sgt Wesley Wanagel (unable to attend), Sgt Daniel O’Sullivan (unable to attend), Tpr Romere Antoine, Mr. James Boivin and Mr. Joseph Armstrong. On December 10, 2011, Sgt O’Sullivan responded to a crash on Rte 495 in Mansfield. Mr. Jason Gaska, a repairman working for G. Lopes of Taunton, had responded to change a blown tire on a construction truck that Mr. James Boivin had been operating. Mr. Gaska had removed the blown tire and was working on the vehicle when Mr. Boivin observed a vehicle driving directly at them. He was able to jump onto the rear of the repair truck and yell to Mr. Gaska. Mr. Gaska was able to dive into the area under the truck where he had removed the tire. As he did this, one of his legs was run over by this vehicle. A passing motorist, Mr. Joseph Armstrong, was able to observe the vehicle in his rearview mirror that swerved into the breakdown lane. Mr. Armstrong was unaware that one of the workers had been struck and he was not sure if the vehicle had been struck. Mr. Armstrong was able to slow down and observe that the operator of this vehicle did not stop and continued to operate erratically.
At the crash site, Mr. Gaska had suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg. As a result, Mr. Boivin immediately applied a tourniquet just above the injury. This stopped the bleeding and according to responding medical personal saved Mr. Gaska’s life.
Sgt O’Sullivan responded to the scene and conducted the accident investigation. Sgt O’Sullivan gave out a press release asking for the public’s help in identifying the operator of the vehicle that had struck Mr. Gaska. Mr. Armstrong saw the news report on the accident and called the State Police with his observations. Sgt Wanagel and Tpr Antoine from the H-Troop Detective Unit were assigned to assist Sgt O’Sullivan. Their investigation led them to the suspect who was arrested after a search warrant was executed on his motor vehicle. For their outstanding contributions in providing emergency medical assistance and for bringing a hit and run driver that had caused personal injury to justice, they were all awarded the Troop H Commander’s Award.
The following individuals received the H-Troop Commander’s Awards. Tpr Mark Farioli (2), Tpr Eric Papkee (2), Sgt Damian Halfkenny, Tpr Ronald Solimini, Tpr Maura McCarthy, Tpr Christopher Booth, Tpr Sean O’Brien (2), Tpr William Langmead, Tpr Anthony Fabiano, Tpr Joseph Gray(2), Lt John Wright, Tpr Mark Gajewski, Tpr Edward Blackwell, Tpr Paul Copponi, Tpr Gary Mozuch, Tpr James Gordon, Tpr Jon Mackinnon, Tpr Daniel O’Neil, Tpr Richard Lauria, Tpr Jonathan Nickles, Tpr Keith Deshler, Tpr Franklin Davis, Tpr Joseph Kalil, Tpr Kristan Peachey, Tpr Luis Santiago, Tpr Steve Gallagher, Tpr Lorin Ehler, Tpr John McCarthy, Tpr Daniel Mahoney, Patrolman Val Krishtal (Framingham PD), Detective Timothy O’Toole (Framingham PD). Tpr Brian Tully, Sgt Wesley Wanagel, Sgt Daniel O’Sullivan, Tpr Romere Antoine, Mr. James Boivin, Mr. Joseph Armstrong.