On Sunday, the New York state trooper was working a marine detail at the Great Sacandaga Lake. His body would be found soon after by a colleague. State authorities say the trooper died on-duty, and details are just now coming to light.
The deceased has now been identified as Trooper James Monda. The 45-year-old New Yorker died this weekend from accidental drowning, according to state police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen. Bruen announced the tragic death of his colleague via a news conference Monday, August 23.
According to Bruen’s report, Monda would use a boat launch dock to enter Great Sacandaga Lake around 4 p.m. Sunday. State Trooper Monda was wearing diving gear at the time of his drowning.
While Monda was to be on marine patrol, he was not a member of the state police dive team. Monda did not have the proper training for diving, either.
By his side, however, was another state trooper who is a fully-trained underwater recovery team member, Superintendent Bruen cites.
Reportedly, Monda went into the water by himself. When he did not resurface after a short time, his fellow state trooper dove into the lake. There, he found Monda at the bottom of Great Sacandaga. The department’s preliminary investigation says the water is about 9-feet-deep at the location of Monda’s death.
The trooper would then pull Monda onto the shore, immediately beginning CPR. But to no avail.
Other state troopers and rescue crews would then arrive, alongside EMS.
Autopsy Shows New York State Trooper Died from ‘Accidental Drowning’
From the scene, Trooper Monda would be transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital. He was declared dead at the Gloversville facility on Sunday, August 22 at 5:26 p.m. ET.
Afterward, an autopsy would show Monda’s death came via accidental drowning, Superintendent Bruen continues. New York State Police, however, will continue to investigate the trooper’s death.
Several looming questions remain for Monda’s colleagues. Why was he diving? Did the equipment he was wearing malfunction? Why would his colleague allow him to dive untrained and unsupervised?
The above will hopefully come to light as the investigation is ongoing. Bruen intends to “determine exactly what happened.”
Bruen also states that this was not a scheduled training session for Trooper Monda. Regardless, the medical examiner did find “it was an accidental death by drowning and there were no other outstanding medical issues detected or reported,” Syracuse.com reports.
Trooper James Monda, 45, was an 18-year veteran of the New York State Police. Monda worked at Troop G in Latham first. He would then move to Troop B in Ray Brook. Outsider’s sincerest condolences to those suffering during this tragic loss.