Puppy Lost During Fatal Vernon Hit-and-Run Found, Reunited With Family

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A puppy that was lost during a hit-and-run that killed a well-known youth sports coach in Vernon earlier this week has been found and was reunited with family on Saturday.

Vernon police said the puppy named Ollie was found safe on Brighton Lane and was returned to his family.

"There was a large community response in searching for Ollie. Police have been in touch with the family who has expressed their deepest gratitude to all those involved in locating Ollie," Vernon police said.

Investigators said they believe 44-year-old Andrew Aggarwala was was walking his puppy along Phoenix Street on Tuesday afternoon when he was struck by a vehicle that left the scene. According to police, Aggarwala was killed in the hit-and-run.

The dog ran off from the scene and officers and Vernon's animal control officer have been trying to find it, police said. The dog was found on Saturday morning, they added.

Officials said earlier in the week that they had seized a vehicle in connection with the investigation.

Police said Wednesday that while officers were conducting a checkpoint on Phoenix Street earlier in the afternoon, they developed information that led them to seize a vehicle at the checkpoint. Police would not release more information about the vehicle or what led them to seize it.

No one has been arrested in the investigation as of Wednesday evening, police said.

Authorities said Aggarwala was well known in the Vernon community for his volunteer work as a youth sports coach. Officers said Aggarwala was a leader with the Vernon Soccer Club and was active with other youth sports organizations.

"Andrew was well-loved among our club and will be missed. Andrew was a dedicated board member, coach and friend to all who knew him. He was recognized with multiple awards for his volunteerism and community involvement," Vernon Soccer Club President Keith Hodson said in part. "Andrew was to be the recipient of our 2020 Volunteer of the Year for his dedication to the Town of Vernon and its youth," he added.

Aggarwala has two children who attend Vernon Public Schools and school officials have been in contact with the family to offer assistance, police said. Counseling is available to the school community.

Police are asking the public for video of the roadway from houses on Phoenix Street, Church Street, Warren Avenue, Maple Avenue, Washington Street, Birch Street, Lake Street, Taylor Street or any nearby areas. They said they are particularly interested in video from 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Anyone with information or video is asked to contact Vernon Police Department at (860) 872-9126.

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