Waterbury lab employee killed in car crash

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WATERBURY — The Vermont Department of Public Safety is in mourning after the death of forensic chemist Josephine “JoBeth” Buckley, who died in a car accident on Nov. 22.

Buckley, affectionately known as “JB” by her friends and colleagues, was a specialist in DNA and serology at the Waterbury lab, which supports the state’s entire criminal justice system.

Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison expressed the department’s grief.

“We are all devastated by the tragic death of JB, one of our valued employees who dedicated her time and expertise to serving the people of Vermont through her work at the Forensic Lab,” Morrison said. “On behalf of everyone at DPS, I extend our deepest condolences to her parents, extended family, loved ones and friends, and to her co-workers during this awful time.”

The 34-year-old from Essex died when her car went off the road in Bolton on her way to work and was hit by another vehicle.

Buckley was a Michigan native and an alumnus of Earlham College, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

She completed her Master of Forensic Science at Arcadia University before moving to Vermont to join the Forensic Laboratory in 2021.

Dr. Trisha Conti, director of the Vermont Forensic Laboratory, remembered Buckley warmly.

“JB was a much beloved co-worker and adored by all who knew her,” Conti said. “Her loss is a devastation, but to have worked with her at all was a gift we will always cherish.”

An accomplished athlete and soccer player, JB was known for her passion and love for life, her commitment to social justice, and her enjoyment of the outdoors, with New Zealand being her favorite place outside of Vermont.

Arrangements for services are being managed by Gifford Funeral Home in Richmond, and details will be announced later.

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