STOCKBRIDGE — A Great Barrington police officer, barely a year into his career, was killed early Friday in a single-vehicle crash.
Ryan A. Storti, 25, of Muddy Brook Circle, was driving on Prospect Hill Road about 2 a.m. when he lost control of his truck and crashed into a tree, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
“Officer Storti was a rising star in our department,” said Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin in a statement. “I am devastated to learn of his sudden death. This is a tragedy and an enormous loss for the town and the entire community.”
Great Barrington Police Chief William R. Walsh urged residents to keep Storti and his family in their thoughts and prayers.
“Officer Storti was a wonderful young man and police officer,” Walsh said in a statement. “He had everything we wanted in a police officer and was part of our future.”
Storti joined the Barrington police force in 2012 as a part-time officer. He was appointed by the Select Board as a full-time officer in February 2015 after completing a rigorous, 23-week training course that included academics as well as physical fitness at the Massachusetts Police Training Academy in Springfield.
“It's a very tough course,” Walsh said last February, introducing Storti and another officer, Dalton Griffin, to the Select Board.
“It's a very no-nonsense course, with days that often start at 7 a.m.,” Walsh said at the time. “One slipup and you're out.”
Storti and Griffin were lauded last year by Tabakin for their “inspiring” work ethic and commitment.
Storti was a 2008 graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School, where, according to Eagle files, he made the honor roll several times his senior year. He earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Berkshire Community College.
On the Facebook page for the Great Barrington Police Department, there is a picture of a police badge draped in black. Dozens of commenters offered prayers n condolences.
Charles Michael Parsons wrote that he was “devastated” by the accident. He indicated that he was working with Storti to subdivide some property upon which Storti was planning to build a house.
“Ryan was a great young man,” wrote Heidi Parsons-Mielke.
“Extremely sad loss!” wrote David Bartini, a friend. “He has been taken way too soon!”
No further information was available on the cause of the crash, which remains under investigation by the Stockbridge Police Department with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section.