Massive crowd, street closures expected as mourners pay respects to Rensselaer soldier

Mourners honor Frankoski in Rensselaer

Mourners honor Frankoski in Rensselaer. The victim died in a helicopter crash.

Mourners lined up outside the church to pay their respects to Chief Warrant Officer Casey Frankoski Thursday.

Frankoski, a member of the New York National Guard, died in a helicopter crash on March 8 at the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.

Calling hours began at noon at St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph’s Church on Herrick Street in Rensselaer and the line to pay respects stretched down the block until after 5:00 p.m.

Frankoski, 28, was a native of Rensselaer and the daughter of retired Police Chief James Frankoski.

The funeral service is Friday at 11 a.m. at the church.

The area from East St. at Adams Street to East Street at the entrance to the Amtrak’s surface lot B will be closed to traffic. Nearby departments will provide mutual aid to the city as police attend Frankoski’s funeral.

Frankoski will then be laid to rest at Saratoga National Cemetery.

Also killed in the crash was Chief Warrant Officer John Grassia III, who lived in Albany County, and was a New York State trooper. Crew Chief Jacob Pratt, also of the Capital Region, was badly injured and faces a long recovery.

NewsChannel 13’s Stella Porter is at the scene and will bring you updates on air and online.