Officer Involved In Chatham Death Identified

Authorities continue to investigate the death of a college student who was run over by a police cruiser responding to an emergency call on Cape Cod early New Year's Day.

The Cape and Islands district attorney's office on Friday identified the officer as Christopher Vardarkis, a two-year veteran of the Chatham Police Department.

Authorities say Vardarkis struck Garrett Gagne as he lay in an unlit Chatham street at about 4 a.m. Thursday.

The 22-year-old Gagne, from Longmeadow, was on the Cape to celebrate New Year's Eve with friends. He was a senior government major and lacrosse player at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

It remains unclear why Gagne was in the street.

Vardarkis has been placed on leave during the investigation. Chatham's police chief says Vardarkis is "distraught."



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