A weekend of campaigning by President Obama in Florida ended in tragedy as an officer of the Jupiter Police Department was killed while assisting with traffic control for the president’s motorcade.
Officer Bruce St. Laurent, 55, had worked for the department for 20 years. He was one of a number of officers from local departments who had come to West Palm Beach, Fla., to assist with security for the President’s entourage. St. Laurent was riding his motorcycle southbound on Interstate 95 with the presidential motorcade. He moved to an onramp in order to block traffic from entering the highway and was struck from behind by a pickup truck.
Susan Holloway, 56, was driving the Ford F150 up the onramp, accelerating in preparation to merge with highway traffic. She braked to avoid the accident, but nevertheless struck St. Laurent, knocking him off his motorcycle. The officer then became trapped under the truck when it came to rest.
St. Laurent was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center nearby, where he died later that day.
The Florida Highway Patrol and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office will conduct investigations that may take months to complete. After the investigations are concluded, state attorneys will decide whether to file any charges in the case.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the president was informed of the officer’s death and said the first family’s prayers were with the officer’s family.