"At approximately noon today, Trooper Thomas L. Clardy, assigned to this barracks, stopped a Chevrolet Tahoe on the westbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton, near mile marker 79. He conducted the motor vehicle stop in the breakdown lane.
At the time, Trooper Clardy was working a supplemental patrol shift, called an Accident Incident Reduction Shift, with a goal of preventing crashes. His regular shift was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
The reason for the stop of the Tahoe was a traffic violation. Trooper Clardy walked up to the vehicle and obtained information from the driver. He then walked back to his cruiser, a Ford Explorer, and got back into it and began processing the motor vehicle stop.
At that time, a Nissan Maxima was travelling westbound in the left lane. Witnesses indicate that the Maxima was travelling at a high rate of speed.
For reasons that are still under investigation, the Maxima suddenly swerved to the right, crossed all three travel lanes, and, without slowing, struck the rear of Trooper Clardy’s cruiser with the trooper inside.
The tremendous impact of the crash pushed the cruiser into the Tahoe stopped in front of it, and then off that vehicle and onto the grassy side of the highway.
Responding troopers and other first responders found Trooper Clardy inside his cruiser with traumatic injuries and began administering emergency first aid including CPR. Trooper Clardy was transported by ground ambulance to UMass Medical Center in Worcester, where he was pronounced deceased.
The operator of the Maxima was transported by medical helicopter to UMass Medical Center with serious injuries.
That driver is identified as first name David, last name is spelled as N-J-U-G-U-N-A --- 30 years old of Webster. He is being criminally summonsed at this point with negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failing to stay within marked lanes.
We are also seeking an immediate threat suspension with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The investigation is ongoing to determine whether further charges will be sought.
That investigation is being conducted by Troop E of the Massachusetts State Police with the assistance of the State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, the State Police Detective Unit for Worcester County, and the Office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early.
Trooper Clardy was 44 years old. He was a United States Marine Corps veteran. He joined the Massachusetts State Police in April 2005, graduating from our Academy as a member of the 77th Recruit Training Troop and breaking in at the Brookfield Barracks.
He then worked out of the Northampton and the Sturbridge Barracks, and then for the Troop C Community Action Team. He was assigned here to the Charlton Barracks in November 2012.
He was extremely well-liked by the men and women he worked with and had a reputation as a hard worker, a good trooper, and a great man. He was known for his professionalism and dedication. All who knew him have, today, borne witness to his outstanding character.
Trooper Clardy is survived by his wife Reisa and the couple’s six children, who range in age from 4 to 17 years.
Today we pray for them. The Massachusetts State Police are devastated for their loss. We will never be able to fill the hole that is left in their lives from this day forward, but they will always be part of our State Police family. We will forever hold them tight to our hearts, for the rest of their lives.
We ask that you please respect their privacy in this time of unimaginable grief. We will update you further on the investigation into the crash and arrangements for Trooper Clardy in the coming days. Thank you."