Chief Jeremy Ihler of the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department in Missouri sadly reports the death of Sergeant Peggy Vassallo.
Sergeant Vassallo, 53, died from injuries she sustained after being struck by a vehicle. Sergeant Vassallo was driving her personal vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee to work when she was involved in a minor traffic crash with another motorist. She was struck from behind by a driver in a Kia Amanti. When she exited her vehicle to talk with the other motorist, she was struck by another vehicle that was passing the scene.
Sergeant Vassallo was transported to DePaul Health Center in critical condition where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Chief Ihler stated that Sergeant Vassallo’s death is considered an “on duty” incident as she was in uniform and contacting the other driver and rendering aid in the capacity of a law enforcement officer.
Chief Ihler also stated that the vehicle that struck Sergeant Vassallo was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. Ihler said that Sergeant Vassallo is the first officer to be killed in the line of duty since the incorporation of the city in 1950 and the history of the department.
Sergeant Vassallo served the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department for fourteen years. She was the Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Community Relations Officer and D.A.R.E. Coordinator for three area schools. She also supervised the Neighborhood Watch Program. Sergeant Vassallo had previously served with the St. Louis County Police Department for thirteen years.
Sergeant Vassallo coached youth baseball with the Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club, rode in the “Police Unity” bike tour and help launch the first youth skills and sports camp this summer. She helped find housing for homeless people and resources for those needing help paying their utility bills. Chief Ihler said, “She did such an array of things that this loss is catastrophic not only to the City and Police Department, but to the community she served and all the lives she has touched.”
She was the second youngest of ten siblings. Her father was a Lieutenant in the St. Louis Police Department and two of her brothers also were city police officers.
Sergeant Vassallo was married with one son. She had two granddaughters, ages 8 and 10 years old.
Sergeant Peggy Vassallo-gone, but never forgotten. EOW: Monday, August 24, 2015.
Additional details can be found here:
Off-duty officer struck and killed by vehicle near Jamestown Mall