Local, N.Y. police help Casey family bring Sandy home
The family, escorted by local police and aided by law enforcement agencies in New York state, traveled to Albany International Airport and returned to a solemn procession aided by town police officers, the Manchester Fire Department and Manchester Rescue Squad.
Manchester Police Chief Michael Hall said it was one of the more difficult assignments of his law enforcement career, as Sandy Casey's father, Steven Casey, works for the Town of Manchester Parks and Recreation Department.
"When you know the individuals involved and you know the family like most of us do within the department ... it's very disturbing and trying under the best of circumstances," Hall said. "But when it's someone that you know, it adds to the sadness."
Hall said the department was approached by Brewster & Shea Funeral & Cremation Service in Manchester about the possibility of escorting the Casey family home.
"It was something we wanted to do, but we weren't quite sure whether or not it was the right thing to do," Hall said. "The family was very honored and pleased that we were willing to do that and wanting to do that."
"This tragic event touched so many people's lives. We want to show the respect of us all — and that we're aware of the pain and sorrow folks are feeling."
Police and sheriffs in New York state were more than happy to help, Hall said.
"That was the sentiment among everyone there," Hall said. "This affected not only our community but society in general. This is something we all share in — the sorrow and grief of losing a family member, friend or community member under such senseless circumstances."
The Albany Airport Authority Fire Department, Albany County Sheriff's Office, Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office, Town of Colonie Police Department and City of Troy Police Department all assisted.
Hall gave special credit to Troy police, who coordinated traffic signals through the city so that the procession didn't have to stop.
"That probably involved a dozen or more officers, at the height of rush hour traffic," he said. "It certainly expedited the process of being able to get her back home. "
Casey, a 2000 graduate of Burr and Burton Academy, studied to be a special education teacher and taught children at Poultney High School and in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
In the past week, a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral services started by a friend in California has raised nearly $70,000. Funds raised in excess of funeral costs will be used to establish a scholarship fund for Casey's nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours for Casey are scheduled for Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Burr and Burton Academy. A celebration of her life will be held Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m. at the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert. Interment will be private.
Reach Greg Sukiennik at 802-490-6000.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.