Former Vernon police officer, East Granby man killed in WWII-era crash at Bradley Airport

A former Vernon police officer and an East Granby man are the first victims to be identified in a deadly WWII-era plane crash that killed seven people

News 12 Staff

Oct 3, 2019, 3:22 PM

Updated 1,756 days ago

Share:

 
A former Vernon police officer and an East Granby man are the first victims to be identified in a deadly WWII-era plane crash that killed seven people at Bradley International Airport, officials and the man’s family confirmed.
Gary Mazzone, was identified as one of the victims who died, Vernon Chief of Police James Kenny wrote in a press release Wednesday.
“It is with deep sadness that I inform the Vernon Police Department, past and present, of the untimely death of retired Capt. Gary Mazzone," Kenny wrote. "He had a special relationship with Special Olympics Connecticut and is a member of their hall of fame. As recent as last month, he was still supporting VPD's efforts with Special Olympics."
Mazzone was onboard the B-17 Flying Fortress that crashed at Bradley International Airport killing seven people Wednesday.
Mazzone served the Vernon Police Department for 22 years, moving up the ranks to captain. He was hired Aug. 2, 1976 and retired Sept. 23, 1998.
Mazzone had a distinguished career and was a graduate of the FBI National Academy. After retiring, Mazzone also worked 20 years with the Litchfield County State’s Attorney’s Office as an inspector.
He just retired from the state in January, according to Kenny.
"I would venture he knew every single person in this courthouse," said Dawn Gallo, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney for the Litchfield Judicial District. "Not just to say hello, but he knew their names, he knew their families, he knew what they were going through. He made a connection with every person he encountered in a very positive way."
News 12 also learned Mazzone loved the outdoors. He was known for his wit and sense of humor, often playing jokes on many of his coworkers.
"He was a member of our office, but he really was a member of our family," Gallo said. "He was truly an unbelievable, one-of-a-kind person.
Mazzone was a lifelong East Windsor resident, graduating from East Windsor High School and the University of Connecticut.
Another man killed in the crash was also publicly identified by his wife in a Facebook post.
Debra Riddell posted a message about her husband Robert Riddell, of East Granby, last night saying in part, "Words cannot express how devastated I am. At this point, all survivors have been identified. Rob was not one of them. We are waiting for the M.E. To identify those who did not make it. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated."
Bradley International Airport held a moment of silence at 9:54 a.m. Thursday to honor those affected by the crash.
Officials with the NTSB say a preliminary report on the deadly crash could be released over the next week.
 
 
 
 
 
 


More from News 12
0:24
Bridgeport police looking to identify suspects in June robbery

Bridgeport police looking to identify suspects in June robbery

2:15
Warm and humid with possible showers today, better weather coming Friday

Warm and humid with possible showers today, better weather coming Friday

1:58
Police: 2-year-old shot in hand and foot in Monroe

Police: 2-year-old shot in hand and foot in Monroe

0:59
Late Connecticut U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman honored at memorial

Late Connecticut U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman honored at memorial

2:52
The 2024 Olympic Games begin this week. Here's how Stamford is playing a role!

The 2024 Olympic Games begin this week. Here's how Stamford is playing a role!

4:23
Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

0:28
Tijuana flavors arrive in Bridgeport with new deli

Tijuana flavors arrive in Bridgeport with new deli

0:51
Connecticut athletes ready to shine at Paris Olympics

Connecticut athletes ready to shine at Paris Olympics

0:30
Stratford welcomes 2 new businesses to Paradise Green

Stratford welcomes 2 new businesses to Paradise Green

2:05
 Overdose deaths in Connecticut spark effort to prevent addicts from relapsing, potentially dying

Overdose deaths in Connecticut spark effort to prevent addicts from relapsing, potentially dying

1:48
'This day is really special.' JFS Greenwich holds back-to-school event for refugee youth

'This day is really special.' JFS Greenwich holds back-to-school event for refugee youth

0:33
Newtown Action Alliance, other gun safety groups endorse Kamala Harris for president

Newtown Action Alliance, other gun safety groups endorse Kamala Harris for president

0:49
Kids Online Safety Act, led by Sen. Blumenthal and other national leaders, moves forward to Congress

Kids Online Safety Act, led by Sen. Blumenthal and other national leaders, moves forward to Congress

1:29
Nonprofit awarded $2M state grant to address menstrual equity

Nonprofit awarded $2M state grant to address menstrual equity

2:00
‘People don’t know Connecticut.’ Lamont hopes trade mission to Germany attracts new jobs

‘People don’t know Connecticut.’ Lamont hopes trade mission to Germany attracts new jobs

1:44
Fairfield University professor calls presidential race too close to call with Harris in the mix

Fairfield University professor calls presidential race too close to call with Harris in the mix

2:19
Westport police warn people to lock their cars, homes after 3 suspects tried to break into several cars

Westport police warn people to lock their cars, homes after 3 suspects tried to break into several cars

0:13
Bridgeport to offer free vaccines to children

Bridgeport to offer free vaccines to children

0:27
Local athletes set to shine at the 2024 Paris Olympics

Local athletes set to shine at the 2024 Paris Olympics

0:42
News 12’s Frank Recchia receives MLK Award for Excellence in Community Service

News 12’s Frank Recchia receives MLK Award for Excellence in Community Service