PELHAM, N.H. (CBS) – Even as they grieve the death of their son, a Lowell police officer who drowned in the Merrimack River in Tyngsboro on Saturday night, the parents laugh as they recall how driven their son was.
His parents recall that even as a child, Charles “P.J.” Panek was Gung-ho about the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, later became an Eagle Scout, joined the military and just kept going.
“Always reaching for the next level and he achieved them, you know. He had a master’s degree from UMass (in) criminal justice, which he did attain in like three years worth of time,” said Panek’s father Charles.
WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports.
Panek, who joined the Lowell police force in 2006, earned the Medal of Valor for subduing an armed suspect in 2008.
“We really had a team effort to try to hopefully recover Officer Panek, and we were hoping that he would be OK, that somehow he made his way to shore,” said Kenneth Lavallee, the Lowell Police superintendent.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports.
He was well-respected by everyone who knew him.
“Well he was a great son, you know, somebody that I looked up to,” said Panek’s father Charles.