A state trooper who died in the line of duty after a collision on Thursday in Tolland is being remembered in Connecticut.
"No matter what uniform you wear, when an officer goes down in the line of duty, it hurts all of us. It hurts like losing a family member," Hartford Police Chief David Rosado said.
Trooper First Class Kevin Miller served with the Connecticut State Police for 19 years and was assigned to Troop C in Tolland. He had previously served for Troop K in Colchester and Troop E in Montville.
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On Friday, state troopers and members of the community came out to the police department to hold a memorial service for Miller.
The office of the chief medical examiner determined that Miller died of blunt-impact injury of the head, torso and extremities with fractures and visceral injuries.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said U.S. and state flags will be lowered at half-staff immediately to honor Miller.
"We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the tragic loss of Trooper First Class Miller – a man who dedicated his life to serving the people of Connecticut," Malloy said in a statement. "State troopers and members of law enforcement put their lives on the line each and every day in order to selflessly protect the people of our state, and they deserve our utmost respect for the service they provide."
During the afternoon rush hour, an extraordinary procession carried Miller's body from Tolland to the chief medical examiner’s office in Farmington. The Hartford Fire Department put up a flag over the I-84 overpass in Hartford in honor of Miller, while other state police troopers saluted him.
"There’s no better way for us to come out and honor them for that service," Hartford Fire Assistant Chief Dan Reilly said.
Miller, of Coventry, was the 22nd state trooper or auxiliary trooper killed in the line of duty since 1922.
Another trooper, Danielle Miller, was killed in an off-duty accident in Wolcott in February. A state police spokeswoman says the two troopers were not related.
"We are grateful for his dedicated service to the Connecticut State Police and the residents of Connecticut, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time," Connecticut State Police released in a statement.
Last month, Miller celebrated his 49th birthday. In August 1998, Miller reported to the Connecticut State Police academy and the following year he graduated as part of the 108th police class. Miller was expected to retire at the end of the summer.
A police vehicle was stationed outside Miller's home in Coventry on Grant Hill Road as loved ones and neighbors, like John Fields, mourned his tragic death.
"The last time I had seen him was yesterday I was driving down to Tolland Way and I beeped my horn and waved and that’s the last time I seen him," Fields said. "He’s a real kind, gentle guy, soft-spoken. Great guy. Couldn’t have asked for a better neighbor."
One classmate described Miller, a father of two, as a genuine, down-to-earth kind of person who was family oriented.
“On behalf of my colleagues in the state legislature, I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of State Trooper Kevin Miller. We want to express our sympathy and let you know that our thoughts are with you,” Sen. Larson said.