Bruce St. Laurent, Jupiter officer, crossed several lanes before deadly motorcade crash, report says

Officers, friends devastated by loss

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Jupiter Police officer killed Sunday while serving in President Barack Obama's motorcade crossed several lanes of traffic on Interstate 95 before being ejected from his motorcycle, according to a preliminary investigation from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and Florida Highway Patrol.

Officer Bruce St. Laurent, 55, was traveling southbound on I-95 around 4:45 p.m. with his emergency lights activated when he moved his motorcycle "at an angle toward the right," crossing several lanes and entering the southbound on-ramp from 45th Street in an effort to stop traffic from entering I-95, the report states.

According to the report, Officer St. Laurent moved into the path of a pickup truck driven by Susan Holloway, as she was attempting "to accelerate to a safe speed" to merge with southbound traffic on I-95. 

The front of Holloway's vehicle struck St. Laurent's motorcycle causing him to be ejected and caught underneath her truck. 

The report states Holloway, 56, of West Palm Beach, attempted to avoid the crash by making a heavy brake application. 

As the investigation unravels and more details surface surrounding the St. Laurent's death, the community he served is trying to come to grips with his passing.

There was a constant flow of people who stopped by police headquarters where they dropped off flowers, lit candles and left behind kind words out of respect.

Those close to St. Laurent pushed back tears as they struggled with the reality of losing their friend.

"Disbelief," said friend Charlie Murphy who choked up when describing his emotions.

Murphy would see St. Laurent at the Jupiter Ale House always sitting in the same spot, always with a smile that was contagious to the room.

"An officer and a gentleman who cared about his community, that's it," said Murphy.

Friends said St. Laurent had just won a tough bout with cancer and was back on the road where he belonged.

"He wasn't a cop, he was a friend and he saved our streets and God took him doing what he did best," said Athena Avendano, a family friend.

It was St. Laurent's work on and off the street the inspired others to follow in his foot steps.

"He would go out of his way personally to help somebody, no matter what it meant to help somebody. Didn't matter what was going on, he'd just be out there helping somebody," said Gene Weiner, a Jupiter Police Explorer.

Others, who passed by the car St. Laurent used, touched it as a way to be close to the one they lost.

"We're going to miss him," said Murphy. "We're going to miss him big time."

Jupiter Police have not released the details for a funeral or service.

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