GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A corrections officer at the Franklin County House of Correction was killed Thursday morning in a motorcycle crash as he was leaving work.
Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh, Jr. told 22News that 21-year-old Jacob Garmalo of Leyden was riding his motorcycle home after working the overnight shift. Garmalo’s motorcycle and a car collided on Elm Street, near the intersection of Hall Street.
Mary Carey of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office told 22News that he was taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center following the crash, where he died. She said that they’re still looking into what caused the crash.
Elm Street was closed for several hours while State Police investigated. The accident site was a very short distance north of the jail, which is also on Elm Street.
22News spoke with Jessica Cantigo, who witnessed the accident. She said it happened so fast, it happened in the blink of an eye. “I saw other people pull up and start running up to him. I guess they knew him, because they approached him quickly and starting calling him by his name.”
Chief Haigh said that his officers are taking the news very hard, and cannot emphasize how just sad members of the police department all feel for Garmalo’s family. He said that they also feel terrible for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, with whom they work very closely.
Co-worker and former landlord, Tony Zager said Jacob loved life and was optimistic about the future. “Couldn’t say enough about his brother and his sister and his mom and dad. He loved them so much. He just couldn’t wait to find some property and build a house. And be a career correctional officer, that’s what he loved.”
Garmalo was to have graduated from a part-time police training program the night he died. It would have enabled him to become a deputy sheriff.
Chief Haigh said it’s too early to say whether any charges will be filed in this accident.