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Norfolk deputy sheriff killed in I-95 crash in Walpole

A Norfolk County deputy sheriff was killed in a crash Tuesday on Interstate 95 while driving to Quincy to serve in the honor guard at a funeral for the mother of a longtime correction officer, Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti said.

Ryan Tvelia, 42, was in uniform and riding his department-issued Harley Davidson Police Edition motorcycle when it collided with one car and then was struck by a second car around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday. He was northbound near Exit 11 in Walpole when the crashes took place, State Police said.

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Bellotti said he had chosen Tvelia as his department’s representative to the mobile operations unit of a regional law enforcement collaborative because of Tvelia’s skill as a motorcyclist and because he presented a positive image of the department to the public.

“We put him in position of importance because of the way he carried himself, his work ethic,’’ Bellotti said. “He was very strong, had Hollywood good looks, and he made us look good as an agency.’’

He said Tvelia was a Long Island native who originally was hired to work as a carpenter in 2001. Later, Tvelia was appointed to supervise carpenters, bricklayers, and other trades people in the department.

Since then, Tvelia worked as a uniformed correction officer and was part of the transportation unit, which shuttles inmates between courthouses and the Dedham jail. More recently, he had taken on the motorcycle assignment, Bellotti said.

Tvelia lived in Plainville, was married, and the father of three teenagers, officials said.

State Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

“Our support and heartfelt sympathy goes to his wife and children during this very difficult time,’’ Bellotti said. “We want them to know that the sheriff’s office stands firmly with them, and we want them to know how much we loved, respected, and admired Ryan.’’

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com.
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