NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Haven police officer who spent years in a coma after sustaining injuries in a 2008 crash died Monday, according to the police department.
On Sept. 9, 2008, Officer Diane Gonzalez and Sergeant Dario “Scott” Aponte were responding to the report of a violent domestic dispute in progress. While traveling to the call, both officers’ vehicles collided at a high rate of speed at the intersection of Chapel Street and East Street.
New Haven police said Sergeant Aponte was killed instantly. Responding medical personnel were able to save Officer Gonzalez but she suffered a traumatic brain injury and slipped into a coma, which police said she never emerged from.
As a single mom, Officer Gonzalez worked the midnight shift and served with the department for 13 years at the time of the crash. New Haven officers are remembering Gonzalez as one of the best, funny and a straight shooter.
At the time, Interim Chief Renee Dominguez was a young patrol officer and looked up to Gonzalez.
“She was an officer who was always there. Always doing her job. Always coming to help,” Dominguez said. “Having another female who was here, who had been here for a long time. Someone to look to in a male-dominated profession when you’re a young female officer.”
Black bunting now hangs outside the department and Gonzalez’s picture will be added with Aponte’s at the station.
She is survived by her two daughters, her son and her grandchildren.