A Jupiter, Florida police officer working as part of President Barrack Obama‘s motorcade has died after his motorcycle was struck by a pickup truck.
The Palm Beach Post reported the deceased officer is Bruce St. Laurent, who was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup truck while trying to shut down an on ramp to I-95. The identity of the truck’s driver was not immediately released.
CNN reported the Jupiter, Florida motorcycle officer was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center in nearby West Palm Beach after being critically injured in the 4:40 pm crash involving a pickup truck that was not part of the motorcade. About three hours after the accident and after Obama was safely back in Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters the officer had died.
St. Laurent was a 20-year veteran of the force and had been a motorcycle cop for the last 18 years. Co-workers described the 55-year old St. Laurent as a generous man, noting that he would sometimes dress up as Santa Claus for a local Head Start program.
“We didn’t lose a co-worker. We lost a friend,” Sgt. Scott Pascarella, Jupiter police spokesman said. “He would do anything for anyone.”
The president was in West Palm Beach on Sunday afternoon for a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Since it occurred near the front of the motorcade, Obama did not witness the accident that killed the police motorcyclist, but he was informed of the accident and of the officer’s death.
Carney, speaking for the president, said his thoughts and prayers were with the motorcycle officer’s family.