PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Darren Manzella, a gay combat medic discharged from the Army after criticizing the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy in a 2007 television interview, has died in a traffic accident in western New York. He was 36.
A relative Friday confirmed his death.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said Manzella was driving on Interstate 490 in suburban Rochester about 8:30 p.m. Thursday when his vehicle sideswiped a car. Deputies said he stopped his vehicle, got out and began pushing the car from behind. He was then hit by an SUV, pinning him between the two vehicles.
Manzella's appearance on "60 Minutes" from the combat zone in Iraq was followed by his discharge in 2008 for violating the since-rescinded policy prohibiting service members from openly acknowledging they're gay.