SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WHDH) — Family, friends and colleagues of a fallen Somerville police officer gathered Friday morning to say their final goodbyes as he was honored at a funeral, less than one week after he was killed in a tragic motorcycle crash on a New Hampshire highway.
Many people, including hundreds of police officers from around Massachusetts, attended the funeral for 55-year-old Louis Remigio, who was killed on Sunday when authorities say a car driven by Michael Ricci, 18, of Burlington, swerved across a median on I-95 in North Hampton and into oncoming traffic, striking the beloved officer.
A sea of blue escorted Remigio in a procession, led by his motorcycle, through the streets to St. Clement Parish in Medford. His cousin offered words of remembrance.
“Lou loved his family so much. He loved his extended so dearly. He loved all of you who were in here so dearly,” Dan Remigio said.
Remigio leaves behind two adult daughters, Danielle and Alexandra, delivered the eulogy. The women lost their mother last year.
“It’s not the honor, the money or the medals he receives. It’s the drive, passion and love for his country that makes us love our dad so much,” said Alexandra Remigio during her eulogy for her father.
A hearse carried the body of Remigio from New Hampshire to a funeral home Tuesday following the crash. Remigio, a 30-year veteran of the department, was off-duty at the time.
“For the rest of our careers, we’re going to ensure his memory never fades from the Somerville Police Department, nor the city of Somerville,” Somerville Police Chief David Fallon said. “There was always a smile on his face. Really a gentle giant.”
Ricci was arrested and charged in connection with the now deadly crash. He could face motor vehicle homicide charges. Ricci posted $10,000 cash bail Monday and was released from prison. He was then arrested again Tuesday night at his home in Burlington on an outstanding warrant on an unrelated matter.
Witnesses said Ricci was racing other drivers on the northbound side of the highway before he lost control and drove his Mercedes into oncoming southbound traffic. Police said he then collided with the motorcycle driven by the Remigio. Ricci and two other cars were allegedly weaving through traffic at high speeds.
Three people were taken to area hospitals after the crash. Officials took Remigio to Portsmouth Regional Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He passed away Monday night.
City officials said Remigio had always gone “above and beyond the normal call of duty.”
“Louie was a first class human being and exactly the kind of police officer you want serving your community; he was tough yet kind, empathetic, and fair. As a Chief, you always want to see that any interaction your officers have with community members are changing people’s lives for the better, and Officer Remigio embodied that one thousand percent,” said Fallon. “Louie was a very important part of this department, and I cannot begin to express what his loss will mean not only to each of us.”
Remigio daughter’s issued a statement Thursday on their father’s death, which Somerville Police Lt. James Polito read.
“Difficult and heartbreaking do little to describe the pain we, the Remigio family and friends, are continuing to experience,” the statement read. “Our father was a role model in every way. For 30 years, he tirelessly worked 60 to 80-hour weeks until the day he was taken from us.”
Fallon said Remigio had a passion for kindness and helping people.
“Officer Remigio was not only one of the most dedicated officers, but he was a well-respected and well-loved member of our city,” said Mayor Joseph Curtatone. “Whether responding to an emergency, conducting his daily duties, or assisting with one community event or another, Lou met each person with compassion, with a smile, and he was known for going the extra mile to keep our residents safe. His loss will be immeasurable.”
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