Police officer cleared of wrongdoing in Longmeadow resident’s death

Cape and Islands D.A. says Garrett Gagne had drugs and alcohol in his system at the time

Garrett Gagne of Longmeadow. Image Courtesy: St. Lawrence University

CHATHAM, Mass. (WWLP-AP) — A Cape Cod police officer who ran over and killed a college student from western Massachusetts on New Year’s Day has been cleared of wrongdoing.

An investigation by the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office determined that Chatham Officer Christopher Vardarkis will not face charges.

Authorities say Vardarkis struck Garrett Gagne of Longmeadow as he lay on unlit Crowell Road at about 4 a.m. on Jan. 1. At the time, Vardarkis was on the way to a business alarm call.

The 22-year-old Gagne was on the Cape to celebrate New Year’s Eve. He was a senior government major and lacrosse player at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. In high school, Gagne had also been a skier, who had placed first twice in state championships.

The Cape Cod Times reports the investigation found that Gagne had alcohol and illicit drugs in his system.

Drug and alcohol tests on Vardarkis determined he was not impaired.

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Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, http://www.capecodonline.com

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