FORT PIERCE, Fla. — More than 1,000 law enforcement officers from the Treasure Coast and South Florida are expected Monday to mourn their fallen colleague, the late sheriff's Sgt. Gary Morales, and join a 25-mile funeral procession from Fort Pierce to Palm City.
Following a 10 a.m. public viewing and a noon funeral at Westside Baptist Church, 3361 S. Jenkins Road, Fort Pierce, St. Lucie sheriff's officials and other mourners will be driving to a graveside service at Forest Hills Memorial Park, 2001 S.W. Murphy Road in Palm City, officials announced Saturday.
The route from the church to the cemetery is to take them:
• North on Jenkins Road
• West on Okeechobee Road (State Road 70)
• South on Interstate 95
• East on Becker Road
• South on Murphy Road to Forest Hills Memorial Park
Sheriff's officials said residents need to remember that, as in any procession, the estimated speed will be 20 to 40 miles per hour.
St. Lucie officials said the funeral route will be closed to other traffic during the procession. But as they do not know when the funeral would conclude, they don't know how long the procession would take.
In Martin County, meanwhile, officials said they plan to close the section of Murphy Road in front of the cemetery, from Southwest High Meadows Avenue east to Southwest Matheson Avenue, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Monday.
Sheriff's deputies or city police officers will be at intersections along the way to direct traffic along the route.
In both counties, authorities said they are asking residents not connected with the funeral to plan alternate routes if they need to travel in that area.
Morales' family has asked all donations be made to the nonprofit One Hundred Club of St. Lucie County, 4700 West Midway Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34981.
Checks should indicated the donation is for the Morales Family.