FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Dozens of law enforcement vehicles took part in a somber procession for a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who was killed Friday while trying to detain a fleeing felon in St. Lucie County.
Trooper Zachary Fink, 26, is a three-year veteran of the FHP and started his career in Orlando before recently transferring to his hometown of Port St. Lucie.
"Trooper Fink's family relayed to us that, at age 6, he told his mom, his stepmother, that, you know, mom, I just want to help people," FHP Col. Gary Howze said. "Today, he was living his dream doing just that as a Florida state trooper."
Howze said Fink leaves behind a fiancée, mother, father and stepmother.
"Our hearts go out to the family of FHP Trooper Zachary Fink, who was killed in the line of duty while attempting to detain a fleeing felon in St. Lucie County," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis posted on social media.
Our hearts go out to the family of FHP Trooper Zachary Fink, who was killed in the line of duty while attempting to detain a fleeing felon in St. Lucie County.@CaseyDeSantis and I are praying for the Fink family and the entire FHP community. pic.twitter.com/iWYuKqrkZF— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 2, 2024
Investigators said Fink collided with a semi-truck on I-95, south of Crosstown Parkway, just before 3 a.m. while trying to pursue a person in a white Kia who was driving recklessly and speeding.
Fink was airlifted to HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital in Fort Pierce, where he was pronounced deceased.
A group of four law enforcement officers on motorcycles led a procession as an ambulance carrying Fink's body left the hospital just before 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Dozens of FHP and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office cruisers then followed behind the ambulance.
WATCH: Video of procession for FHP Trooper Zachary Fink
The ambulance was driven to the St. Lucie County medical examiner's office at Indian River State College, where Fink's American flag-draped casket was loaded into a second ambulance as dozens of fellow FHP troopers saluted.
WPTV spoke to U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Florida, who said he had met Fink. He said the trooper was dedicated and committed to serving the community.
"He took it upon to make his life's service to these people that he didn't know, if they loved him, hated him, knew anything about him, whatever," Mast said. "But he was willing to risk for people that he didn't know at all. That's our law enforcement officers."
WATCH: U.S. Rep. Brian Mast speaks about fallen FHP trooper
Howze said Fink transferred to Troop L to be closer to his family.
"This was home for him," Howze said.
Howze said Fink had only been working in the area "for a short amount of time."
"I tell our recruits when they graduate that they raise their right hand and they take a solemn and binding obligation to protect and serve our community," Howze said. "But the truth is, they take that obligation, but their family bears the burden of that."
Fink's death comes nearly four years to the day when another Florida Highway Patrol trooper, Joseph Bullock, was shot and killed on I-95 in Martin County on Feb. 5, 2020 .