Jupiter police officer Bruce St. Laurent, a 20-year veteran of the force who was killed Sunday when his motorcycle was struck during President Barack Obama’s motorcade, was known by fellow officers as a generous man.
“We didn’t lose a co-worker. We lost a friend,” said Sgt. Scott Pascarella, Jupiter police spokesman, who trained St. Laurent, 55, when he was a new officer. “He would do anything for anyone.”
The accident happened about 4:40 p.m. on the southbound entrance ramp at 45th Street to Interstate 95. St. Laurent was on his motorcycle as part of the motorcade when he was struck by a white Ford F-150 pickup.
St. Laurent was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
An emotional Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow declined comment.
“I’m so overwhelmed right now,” Kitzerow said. “Our first priority is notifying (St. Laurent’s) family.”
The driver of the truck also was not immediately identified. The sheriff’s office and the Florida Highway Patrol are investigating the crash.
Police officers from Jupiter and police chiefs from West Palm Beach and Jupiter attended a news conference Sunday night at St. Mary to discuss the accident.
Obama was in West Palm Beach on Sunday afternoon for a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The president was notified of the accident during the flight from Palm Beach International Airport to Washington, D.C., White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
St. Laurent was awarded in 2005 with a Distinguished Service Award by the Traffic Safety Committee of the Palm Beaches.
He was a motorcycle officer for the last 18 years.
Source: PALM BEACH POST