Deputy killed by road worker driving front end loader along interstate, Florida cops say




  • In US
  • 2022-09-23 12:31:45Z
  • By Miami Herald
 

A sheriff's deputy monitoring traffic along an interstate construction site was run over and killed by a member of the road crew, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect fled, but was taken into custody early Friday, Sept. 23, the sheriff's officials reported.

The incident happened around 10:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, on Interstate 275 in St. Petersburg, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said at a news conference shared by station WFTS.

The victim was identified as 51-year-old Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Hartwick, who has been with the department 19 years, Gualtieri said.

Hartwick started his shift at 10:30 p.m. and was standing on the shoulder of Interstate 275 when a crew member driving a front end loader "struck Deputy Hartwick and killed him instantly," Gualtieri said.

The driver, Victor Vazquez, continued heading north "for about a quarter of a mile, pulled the front end loader into a parking area, got out, told another construction worker that he had just killed a deputy and took off his helmet, took off his vest, and began running," Gualtieri said.

The other construction worker hid Vazquez's helmet and vest in a wooded area, officials said.

Investigators did not release details of how Vazquez was captured Friday. He faces a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving a death (a second-degree felony), officials said. His last known address was in Tampa.

The worker who hid the helmet and vest was taken into custody and charged with being an accessory after the fact, officials said. His identity was not released.

Gualtieri noted it was the second time in 18 months that one of the department's deputies had been killed in the line of duty.

"Deputy Hartwick was doing what cops do every day. He was out doing his job. He was on his assigned post," Gualtieri said.

"He was trying to protect the scene out there for the construction workers and, ironically, he got hit by one of the construction workers."

Woman forced to watch 'hysterically' laughing man crush her pickup, Florida cops say

Man pulls gun when party crowd tries to stop him from driving drunk, Florida cops say

Wedding reception goes horribly wrong when attendees start fighting, Florida cops say

COMMENTS

More Related News

Tampa police chief placed on leave after bodycam video shows her flashing badge during traffic stop
Tampa police chief placed on leave after bodycam video shows her flashing badge during traffic stop
  • US
  • 2022-12-05 11:29:58Z

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said Police Chief Mary O'Connor will be on leave during an investigation into her actions on Nov. 12, when she and her husband were...

Community mourns 23-year-old Brevard County deputy killed in off-duty accident
Community mourns 23-year-old Brevard County deputy killed in off-duty accident
  • US
  • 2022-12-05 03:27:53Z

New details have been released about the death of 23-year-old Brevard County Deputy Austin Walsh.

Armed bystander in Florida stops attack on pregnant woman
Armed bystander in Florida stops attack on pregnant woman
  • US
  • 2022-12-04 19:09:00Z

A Florida pregnant woman was being brutally assaulted in a Publix parking lot when an armed bystander stopped the attack by pulling out his pistol on the...

Roundup: Murder charges dropped in Santa Ynez case, more news
Roundup: Murder charges dropped in Santa Ynez case, more news
  • US
  • 2022-12-03 01:04:26Z

Santa Barbara County prosecutors dismiss murder case that involved regional manhunt, arrest in fatal Camarillo OD, beach contamination warning.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US