CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A vigil was held Friday night outside the Chicopee Police Department to honor and remember an officer who was killed in an off-duty motorcycle crash.
The memorial for Chicopee Police Officer Angela Santiago began with a bike procession out of the Stefanik Elementary School, which continued on to the Chicopee Police Department on Church Street.
Santiago, 33, was born in Springfield on June 2, 1987. She graduated from Chicopee High School in 2005and attended college briefly before joining the United States Army. As a soldier, Santiago served from 2005 – 2019 and was an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran, according to her obituary.
22News spoke with Floyd Fairbanks of Monson who told us, “An officer went down, we’ve all been there, we’ve all laid our bike down, we’ve all done something, and she happened to lose her life and she was a big part of this Chicopee community.”
The late officer is described as a decorated soldier with an extensive military background including multiple deployments and missions. She even earned the top fitness score during her basic combat training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where she still holds the record.
Santiago joined the Chicopee Police Department in 2014 as a school resource officer. Police Chief William Jebb shed light on the impact she had on other officers and students during a news conference on Tuesday after news about her death broke.
Officer Santiago was killed while riding her motorcycle with her twin sister on I-91 in East Windsor, Connecticut. She had just celebrated her 33rd birthday, two weeks before the crash.
She is survived by many loved ones including her parents, godparents, siblings, and partner.
Calling hours for the late officer will be held on Sunday, June 21, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Grise Funeral Home located at 280 Springfield Street in Chicopee. You can live-stream her funeral ceremony here.
Contributions and flowers may be made to the Chicopee Boys and Girls Clun located at 580 Meadow Street.