Zone Sergeant Gerald A. DeGroot, 48, died in the city of Watertown on June 24, 1978. He was returning home from his shift, when his vehicle was struck head-on by an 18-year-old drunk driver. The teen was charged with criminal negligent homicide.
Zone Sergeant DeGroot joined the New York State Police in 1957 and served at Troop B Malone, and Troop T Tarrytown, before returning to Watertown. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1964 and to Zone Sergeant in September 1977. At the time of his death, he was vice president of the Jefferson County Committee on Alcoholism.