Police officer dies after 13-year in coma from on-duty crash
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut police officer who spent 13 years in a coma following an on-duty collision with another officer’s vehicle has died.
Officer Diane Gonzalez, 60, suffered a traumatic brain injury and succumbed to her injuries Monday, the New Haven Police Department said. The officer in the other vehicle, Sgt. Dario “Scott” Aponte, 43, was killed in the crash on Sept. 9, 2008.
The New Haven Register reported Tuesday that both officers were responding to a report of a violent domestic dispute when their cars collided at high speed in central New Haven intersection.
Gonzalez was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital — the same hospital where she used to volunteer to hold babies after her shift, according to her former partner Stephie Van Wilgen, the newspaper reported.
Her brother, Isaac Gonzalez, said she was comatose at first, but with time was conscious, “very much in there,” and could laugh and smile.
Gonzalez, age 47 at the time of the crash, was a 13-year veteran of the department and was born in New Haven after her family moved there from Puerto Rico.
She is survived by two brothers, her grandchildren, a son and two daughters, and had adopted her niece and nephew after her sister’s passing.