CHATHAM, MA -- A police officer responding to an emergency call early New Year's Day ran over and apparently killed a college lacrosse player lying in a road, authorities said.
Police said they don't know why Garrett Gagne was in the road or what his condition was before he was struck at 4 a.m. in Chatham. The officer, who has not been identified, immediately stopped and called for help when he realized he had hit Gagne, police said Thursday. State and local police are investigating.
Gagne, 22, was a senior government major and lacrosse player for St. Lawrence University. Police said he was from Longmeadow in western Massachusetts and was in Chatham, on Cape Cod, to celebrate New Year's Eve with friends.
The Canton, New York, university set up a memorial website to Gagne on Thursday. In a statement, St. Lawrence President William Fox said the school will hold a tribute for him when classes resume.
Fox wrote in the statement: "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.'"
At Longmeadow High School, Gagne captained both the lacrosse and ski racing teams and was honored for his academics, according to Fox's statement. He was also a two-time Massachusetts state champion in ski racing.
Officer runs over lacrosse player lying in road