Sunday, December 27, 2009

Marine Lance Cpl. Charles Rochlin

Remember Our Heroes

Westport (WTNH) - An accident in Westport has left an active-duty Marine dead. The driver of the vehicle was hospitalized.

Lance Cpl. Charles Rochlin was killed early Sunday morning when the car he was riding in slammed into a tree along Greens Farms Road in Westport.

"Everything was done to assist him but unfortunately he succombed" to his injuries, Lt. Vincent Penna, Westport Police, said.

The damage to the passenger side of the Jeep Cherokee shows the force of impact.

Rochlin, a 24-year-old who grew up in Westport, had been out with a childhood friend. Police tell News Channel 8 Mathew Packer was the only other person in the car.

Packer, 25, wasn't seriously hurt, but police said he denies he was behind the wheel when the crash occured.

"The physical evidence at the scene and also what we will garner from the vehicle will indicate who was operating the vehicle and at this point in time we have no other suspects except Mr. Packer and feel he was the operator of the vehicle," Lt. Penna said.

Rochlin was based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and recently returned to Connecticut following a tour in Iraq. He was set to deploy to Afganistan this spring.

Police are waiting for toxicology reports to come in, but they believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

"Does appear that alcohol played a role and it shows the unfortunate consequences of mixing alcohol and operating a vehicle especially at this time of year," Lt. Penna said.

Born in Norwalk, Rochlin spent much of his live in Westport. He attended Fairfield Prep, but graduated from Staples High School in June 2003.

According to a story posted on , calling hours will be Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. The funeral will be held Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at Saint Luke Church, 49 Turkey Hill Road North. Rochlin will be buried with full military honors at Willowbrook Cemetery, 395 Main St.

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