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WOODBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — State Police have identified the State Police Sergeant who died Thursday after being swept away in floodwaters in Woodbury as Sergeant Brian Mohl.
State police said they received a distress call just after 3:30 a.m. from an on-duty Trooper in distress. The veteran Sergeant from Troop L reported that his cruiser was being swept away.
Officials said the cruiser was in the area of Jacks Bridge Road near where the Pomperaug River meets three other rivers. The cruiser was found a short time later. Sgt. Mohl was found and life-saving measures were taken. He was taken by Lifestar to Yale-New Haven Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The area where the incident happened is a road that lies along the intersection of three rivers and according to locals, is prone to flooding during intense rain. It’s likely Sgt. Mohl was checking on the river and flood conditions in that area.
Three helicopters and six boats were involved in the early morning search, as well as dive teams, the Coast Guard, K-9 units, drones, and people searching on the ground.
WEB EXTRA: Gov. Lamont, CT State Police give update on line-of-duty death in Woodbury in overnight storm
Sgt. Mohl was a member of the Connecticut State Police for nearly 27 years.
Sgt. Mohl’s family released a statement on Sunday, Sept. 5, in response to the outpouring of support:
We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. The loss we have suffered is immeasurable. Brian was an incredible person. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, uncle, and friend and to say he will be missed is just not enough.
Brian loved being a State Trooper. He proudly served with the Connecticut State Police for over 26 years and those that worked with him said he always had a way of making you feel as though you were part of the team and that he truly cared about them.
Even though Brian was committed to his work he always found a way to put his family life first. He never lost sight of that. If he wasn’t at work, he was spending time with us. Brian’s love for his family was larger than life. He had a special way about him with his kindness, humor and warmth.
Seeing the outpouring of prayers and support from the Connecticut State Police, the New York State Police, the law enforcement community and the community as a whole has deeply touched our hearts. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for all of your compassion.Family of Sgt. Brian Mohl
“A Trooper of 26 years has given his life for our greater good. I was telling everybody, ‘stay safe, stay home, let’s ride out this storm.’ That’s not what you do as a Trooper,” said Governor Ned Lamont.
“Sgt. Mohl was committed to helping others, to keeping public safety his priority, and to always assisting his fellow Troopers,” said Colonel Stavros Mellekas, Commanding Officer of the State Police. “Every line of duty death is heartbreaking and the loss of Sgt. Mohl is no different. He was outside, in the middle of the night, in horrendous conditions, patrolling the Troop L area. He was doing a job he loved and he was taken much too soon.”
State Police said Sergeant Mohl entered the State Police Training Academy in 1994 and graduated in 1995 with the 105th Training Troop. He was assigned to Troop A in Southbury and transferred to Troop L in Litchfield after being promoted to Sergeant in May 2000. He served in various troops in the state before returning to Troop L in 2008.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Friday, Sept. 03, Mohl’s cause of death was blunt trauma to the torso; his death has been ruled an accident.
WATCH: Procession for fallen state trooper, Sergeant Brian Mohl
This is the 25 line of duty death in the history of the Connecticut State Police.
“Today, we stand together as one with the family, the Trooper’s family,” Lamont said.
Sergeant Mohl is well-known in the community and in the state police. He was a training officer for many young troopers and a mentor to many others.
State troopers are remembering their fallen brother.
“Knowing his family and everything that the family has done for this agency, our hearts go out to his family and everybody involved,” said Sgt. Christine Jeltema of the Connecticut State Police. “The impact that he has made on troopers throughout the state and throughout Western District, it’s very impactful. For this to happen to somebody, it reminds us that we don’t know what’s going to happen with our days.”
Troopers have been with their fallen brother every step of the way, from Yale-New Haven Hospital to the medical examiner’s office and then to the funeral home Friday afternoon. The procession is an important part of the grieving process. It gives troopers time alone with their thoughts as they drive behind their fallen brother or stand on an overpass saluting him.
“He was such a great man, and the impact he made on state police, it’s a sign of respect, it’s a way we can say goodbye, a way that our troopers can have some type of closure. We don’t have the ability to grieve, we have to go back out and perform duties for the citizens of Connecticut,” Sgt. Jeltema said.
Sergeant Mohl was set to retire next year.
According to the Connecticut State Police Union, a wake will be held at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford on Wednesday, Sept. 8 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The funeral will also be held at the Xfinity Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m.
Sergeant Mohl is survived by his wife Susan and three children, his three brothers, his two sisters, and his parents. Read his obituary here.
Anyone interested in donating to support Sergeant Mohl’s family can do so through the Venmo account @CSP-Union or send a check to the Connecticut State Police Union with a notation stating “Sgt. Brian Mohl.” Donations can be mailed to SGT. Brian Mohl Fund, c/o CSPU, 500 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118.