South Windsor PD mourning loss of young officer struck by drunk driver in off-duty motorcycle crash

Hartford

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — The South Windsor Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its own. Officer Benjamin Lovett was involved in an off-duty motorcycle crash in June and passed away Tuesday at the age of 25.

The crash happened in Tolland on June 26. South Windsor police said Officer Lovett was the victim of an attempted DUI hit-and-run crash.

Courtesy: South Windsor Police

Officer Lovett entered the South Windsor Police training program after completing training at the Connecticut Police Academy in 2018. He was assigned as a patrol officer in the Operations Division where he excelled and grew as a new officer.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he would have been able to do whatever he wanted to do with this agency. The sky was the limit for him. He was just that type of person. We’re not going to be able to replace him,” said Sgt. Mark Cleverdon, South Windsor Police Department.

In the spring of 2020, Officer Lovett was temporarily assigned to the Criminal Investigations Bureau. In May 2020, Officer Lovett tested for the position of Narcotics Investigator and was appointed to the East Central Narcotics Task Force.

Bunting was hung outside the South Windsor Police Department mourning the loss of Officer Ben Lovett. Courtesy: WTNH

South Windsor Police said that Officer Lovett has received numerous letters of appreciation from the public and is the recipient of the 2020 Mothers Against Drunk Driving recognition award.

Courtesy: South Windsor Police

“Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is heartbroken to learn of the senseless death of South Windsor Police Officer Benjamin Lovett due to an alleged drunk driving crash. Officer Lovett worked hard to remove drunk drivers from Connecticut roads, and MADD honored his dedication to keeping his community safe from drunk drivers at our annual Law Enforcement Recognition ceremony last year. We owe a debt of gratitude for the immeasurable number of lives he saved. Our hearts go out to his family, the department and his friends who mourn Officer Lovett. We are here to offer support and victim assistance to Officer Lovett’s family and friends, fellow officers, and all who are impacted by this 100% preventable tragedy.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

MADD CT said the organization solicits nominations from each municipal police department as well as the CT State Police identifying the men and women of law enforcement who have led their respective department’s efforts combating impaired driving through DUI Enforcement, education, or both. Officer Lovett was nominated by his department again this year.

RELATED: Connecticut police departments mourn the loss of South Windsor Officer

Officer Lovett also served as an Emergency Medical Technician within the department, and certified Crisis Intervention Team member, and held numerous investigation and narcotic training certificates.

“To say he was a valued member of our agency is an understatement. Ben is what I would consider an excellent police officer, especially for his age and experience, and he had been that way since the day he started with us,” Sgt. Cleverdon said.

Connecticut State Police have arrested the person accused of hitting Officer Lovett while he was riding his motorcycle off-duty in Tolland.

State police arrested 24-year-old Spencer Kraus for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol/drugs, evading responsibility resulting in serious physical injury, assault second-degree with a motor vehicle, and failure to obey a stop sign.

“Most of all, Benjamin was a valuable member of the department, an easy-going and bright officer, a friend and co-worker who will be greatly missed by his family at the South Windsor Police Department,” the South Windsor Police Department said in a statement.

Officer Lovett leaves behind his parents and a brother.

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