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Officer killed during presidential motorcade identified

Authorities have released the identity of the Florida officer who was killed while riding in President Barack Obama's motorcade when his motorcycle was struck by a truck. The 20-year veteran's colleagues fondly remembered the man's demeanor and service to the department upon hearing news of his death.

The fatal motorcycle accident occurred as the victim and several other police officers escorted Obama's motorcade as it prepared to enter Interstate 95. As the motorcade turned onto an exit, an oncoming pickup truck slammed into the victim's motorcycle. He was transported to a nearby hospital but was declared dead upon arrival. President Obama did not witness the accident, as it occurred near the front of the motorcade. The president was informed of the fatal death after leaving a Florida campaign event.

The driver of the truck has not yet been identified, and it is unclear whether he or she is expected to face criminal charges related to the accident. The Florida Highway Patrol and the local sheriff's department are still investigating the incident.

The chief of the victim's department declined to comment on the accident, explaining that he was "overwhelmed." Several of the victim's fellow officers announced plans to escort his body as it was transported from the hospital to the medical examiner's office.

Cases like this can be a little tricky if the victim's family wanted to a file a lawsuit, because the officer was killed while in the line of duty. But what happened should be a reminder to all drivers to pay better attention to your surroundings. It shouldn't be hard to miss a presidential motorcade, but somehow it happened.

Source: Palm Beach Post, "Jupiter chief identifies officer killed during president's motorcade," Bill DiPaolo and Julius Whigham II, Sep. 9, 2012

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