Trooper killed in Mass Pike crash laid to rest

The driver of the car that hit Trooper Clardy's cruiser is still in the hospital and faces charges

Pallbearers carry the casket of Mass. State Trooper Thomas L. Clardy out of Saint Michael Church after his funeral, Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in Hudson, Mass. Clardy, was killed when a car slammed into his cruiser as he was stopping another driver. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

HUDSON, Mass. (AP) — A state trooper who died following a crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike was a dedicated family man and cherished colleague with a sense of humor, mourners said at his funeral Tuesday.

Thomas Clardy (Image Courtesy: Massachusetts State Police)
Thomas Clardy (Image Courtesy: Massachusetts State Police)

Thousands of police officers from across the state and nation stood at attention outside St. Michael church in Hudson during the service for Trooper Thomas Clardy, 44, a Marine Corps veteran and father of seven. The service was followed by burial attended by officers and a Marine Corps honor guard.

“Tom looked at everybody with good eyes and a good heart,” retired state police Sgt. Albert Toney said during the eulogy.

Toney read poignant messages from Clardy’s children — daughters who recalled their father as man with a sense of humor who always had time for a game before work, and a son who remembered his dad taking him to his first R rated movie and letting him stay up late to watch a college football bowl game.

Hundreds of troopers pay their respects for Trooper Thomas Clardy

Toney waited until the end of the eulogy to explain the toy Incredible Hulk hands that rested on the podium. Clardy wore them as a joke around the barracks, and gave them to Toney on the day of his retirement, saying “Sgt. Toney, I want to be just like you.”

“Negative Tom,” Toney said, wrapping up the eulogy. “We all aspire to be just like you.”

Mourners hold a flag outside St. Michael Parish for the funeral of State Trooper Thomas Clardy, Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in Hudson, Mass. Clardy was killed when a car slammed into his cruiser as he was stopping another driver. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Mourners hold a flag outside St. Michael Parish for the funeral of State Trooper Thomas Clardy, Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in Hudson, Mass. Clardy was killed when a car slammed into his cruiser as he was stopping another driver. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Bishop William Benjaminsen of the local Mormon congregation, where Clardy was a member, said Clardy was taken too soon.

“Tom still had much to give, but what he did provide to us was a life of service to his country, to the people of Massachusetts, and to his family,” he said during the service, which was held in a much larger Catholic church to accommodate the anticipated rush of support.

Before the funeral, highway message boards around Massachusetts read: “Rest in peace, Trooper Thomas Clardy.”

Clardy had stopped a car for a traffic violation in Charlton on March 16 when his cruiser was hit by another vehicle. Investigators say the car swerved across all three travel lanes without slowing down.

The driver, David Njuguna, 30, of Webster, remains hospitalized with serious injuries. Family members said he doesn’t remember the crash.

He’s charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lane violation.

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