Florida Motorcycle Officer Killed by Truck While Escorting President Obama’s Motorcade
Bruce St. Laurent, a 20-year veteran of the Jupiter, Florida, police department, was killed on Sunday when a pickup truck struck him as he was part of President Barack Obama’s motorcade, according to The Palm Beach Post. Bill DiPaolo and Julius Whigham II, writing for The Palm Beach Post, quote Jupiter police spokesman Sgt. Scott Pascarella, who trained St. Laurent when he was a new officer: “We didn’t lose a co-worker. We lost a friend. He would do anything for anyone.”
As an Associated Press article appearing in The Washington Post reports, Officer Laurent, 55, was one of several officers from agencies across Palm Beach County assisting with security for the president’s visit. Obama was on the second day of a bus tour through Florida — a key swing state, Associated Press notes — and made a campaign appearance Sunday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Associated Press gives further details about the accident that killed St. Laurent:
He was ahead of the motorcade on Interstate 95 preparing to shut down the highway when he was hit by the Ford F-150, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said. He was taken to nearby St. Mary’s Medical Center and was pronounced dead. […]
Barbera said an investigation was ongoing and no charges had yet been filed against the driver.
President Obama was told about the accident during the flight from Palm Beach International Airport to Washington, D.C., White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, according to The Palm Beach Post. Associated Press writes that Carney said the president didn’t see the accident, but after he was notified of the officer’s death, he said “our thoughts and prayers are with the officer’s family.”
The Palm Beach Post reports that the driver of the truck was not immediately identified. Another Palm Beach Post article, by Bill DiPaolo, Sonja Isgar and Julius Whigham II, says St. Laurent and his wife, Brenda, were married for more than 30 years, and have four children, Larry, Albert, Lenny, and Chartelle. Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, St. Laurent had moved to Jupiter in 1973.
The Palm Beach Post reports that officers escorted St. Laurent’s body when it was moved from St. Mary’s Medical Center to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office on Gun Club Road.
St. Laurent had been a motorcycle officer for 18 years and was given a Distinguished Service Award by the Traffic Safety Committee of the Palm Beaches in 2005. In addition, in 1993, 1996, and in 2008, he was selected as the Jupiter Police Department’s Officer of the Quarter. St. Laurent received the department’s top award in 1996 when he was selected as the Officer of the Year, The Palm Beach Post reports. He was also known for often playing Santa Claus for the local Head Start program and had worked as a volunteer helping to build a house for Habitat for Humanity, according to the Jupiter Police Department on the tribute page it has created for him: http://www.jupiter.fl.us/jpd/Officer-Bruce-St-Laurent.cfm.