NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Tonight, the New Haven Police Department is saying goodbye to one of their own.

A procession was held for Officer Diane Gonzalez.

The New Haven Police Officer died on Monday, after a crash put her in a coma in 2008.

Hundreds of officers lined highways overpasses and streets to honor Diane Gonzalez as they brought her from Bradley Airport, back home to New Haven.

New Haven Interim Police Chief Rene Dominguez said, “to be able to bring her home in this way, to be able to honor her like she should be honored we’re thankful.”

Tonight, a sea of red and blue lights lined the streets to honor the life of 13-year veteran officer Gonzalez.

Retired New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said, “I think this hit us very hard because this happened so long ago and it’s tragic that we forget those that are that close to us and went through something that important.”

In 2008, Officer Gonzalez and Sergeant Dario “Scott” Aponte were responding to a domestic dispute, when their cruisers collided.

Aponte was killed instantly, and Gonezalez suffered a traumatic brain injury, and slipped into a coma.

“She always had kind words from people, and she was truly an amazing person and an amazing police officer,” said Hartman.

Retired officers who worked with Gonzalez say the thing they’ll remember most was her smile.

“She wore a smiley face on her uniform as she worked the midnight shift. A night like this cold, you’re tired and Diane was always smiling,” said retired new haven police officer Rebecca Goddard.

Hartman said, “she just had a way about her. A smile on her face at all times but with a steadfast sternness to her that was unbending.”

Offcier gonzalez is survived by her son, two daughters and her grandchildren.

Retired New Haven Police Officer Stephanie Vanwilgen said, “I’m so happy that her kids got to see how much we loved her, the City of New Haven.”

Copyright 2021 WFSB. All rights reserved.

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