Crash kills Portland native who fought ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

An accident on Interstate 490 outside of Rochester on Thursday evening has claimed the life of a Portland native.

According to the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, Darren Manzella, 36, died after he was struck by an SUV while pushing a car on the Interstate in Pittsford around 8:30 p.m. Manzella had been living in the Rochester area in recent years.

Manzella served in the U.S. Army in Iraq and Kuwait as a medic. He also was a graduate of Brocton High School.

Manzella gained national attention for his fight against the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that was directed toward gay servicemen.

In July, he married Javier Lapiera Soto.