Hundreds say goodbye to beloved corrections cop

Posted: Updated:

Hundreds bid tearful goodbyes Wednesday to an Orange County corrections sergeant who died in a single-car accident.

Somber mourners filled Saint Patrick's Church in Highland Mills. Colleagues gave a final salute as Sgt. Mark Ward's flag-draped coffin was carried inside. He was remembered as a funny man who was respected by co-workers and even jail inmates.

"I don't choke up that much to be honest with you, but this is a very difficult one," said Corrections Administrator Dominick Orsino. "It's a tremendous loss to the department because he symbolized so much. He symbolized the best in the department."

The eight-year veteran died last Friday when his car careened off Route 17 in Goshen after a night of celebrating. According to a preliminary report, alcohol may have been a factor.

Ward was off duty at the time of the single-car crash.

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