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FWC officer killed in wrong-way crash in St. Lucie County

FHP: Woman, 24, driving wrong way slams into unmarked FWC vehicle
Scene of wrong-way crash that killed FWC off
Posted at 3:19 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 08:42:55-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Two people are dead, including a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer, after a woman driving the wrong way slammed into an unmarked FWC vehicle Thursday in St. Lucie County, authorities said.

The wreck happened just after noon at Okeechobee Road and South Header Canal Road.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 24-year-old woman from Tampa was driving a Kia sedan the wrong way — eastbound in the westbound lanes of Okeechobee Road — and collided head-on with an unmarked FWC vehicle, which was a Ford pickup truck.

The driver of the FWC vehicle was a 35-year-old on-duty officer who was flown to a hospital and pronounced dead.

"We have heavy hearts today as we lost one of our own," FWC Maj. Justin Bonds said. "It's going to take a long time to recover."

FHP troopers salute as body of FWC officer killed in crash passes by
Florida Highway Patrol troopers salute as the body of a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer who was killed in a wrong-way crash is brought to the St. Lucie County morgue, June 9, 2022, in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Bonds called the officer, whose name has not been released, a "true hero" who "has done a lot for the agency, for the citizens of the state of Florida."

Officials said the FWC officer had a wife and young children.

The driver of the Kia also died in the wreck.

No other details have been released and the crash remains under investigation.

Below is a statement released by FWC about the crash:

"All of us at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are heartbroken. An FWC Law Enforcement Senior Investigator was involved in a fatal car crash today, June 9, 2022 in St. Lucie County, and died as a result of his injuries. His family is asking for privacy during this time, and we ask everyone for their support and prayers for his family, friends and all of our FWC officers who are incredibly saddened by his death. Florida has lost a hero for public safety and conservation today. This incident is under investigation and no further details are available for release at this time."