‘A beautiful pain’: Hundreds gather to honor fallen Billerica police Sgt. Ian Taylor

Hundreds of community members gathered for a vigil at Billerica High School Sunday night in honor of fallen Police Sergeant Ian Taylor.

The 49-year-old police officer, who has been a member of the department since 2011, was hit and killed by an excavator while working a detail at a construction site on Boston Road Friday.

On Sunday afternoon, a procession brought his body from the Medical Examiner in Boston to the Cataudella Funeral Home in Methuen.

The Billerica Police Department said a vigil from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the courtyard of Billerica Memorial High School was open to the public.

“He was always smiling,” said Joyce, a close friend of Taylor’s. “Even on his worst days, he’s always smiling… We’re just going to miss him.”

On Saturday, law enforcement from several departments across the commonwealth stood by and alongside the body of Taylor for a procession from Lahey Hospital to the Medical Examiner in Boston.

Officers from across the state emotionally consoled one another outside the medical examiner’s office.

“We have this ceremonial procession as part of our police culture,” said Todd McGhee, law enforcement and security expert who served 20 years with the Massachusetts State Police. “I hope that never ends.”

Billerica Police Chief Roy Frost said that Taylor was “an unbelievable police officer.”

“If we could clone Sargent Taylor, the world would be beautiful,” said Frost. “What we’re experiencing, I can best say, is a beautiful pain and we’ll get through it.”

Frost told Boston 25 that Taylor had been promoted to Sargent the week of his death. It was not made public until Frost announced it Sunday night in front of the grieving crowd.

Frost finished, “I am proud to report that Ian has been promoted to the title of sergeant with the Billerica police department.”

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said the investigation into the incident by the State Police Accident Reconstruction Team is in its early stages.

Funeral services have not yet been announced.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW