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Florida Police Officer Killed While Escorting Presidential Motorcade

A Florida police officer was killed Sunday afternoon while escorting President Barack Obama’s motorcade.

Bruce St. Laurent of the Jupiter Police Department was shutting down an interstate roadway when his motorcycle was struck by a pickup truck around 4:45 p.m., a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 20-year veteran was pronounced dead at the hospital. The driver has not yet been charged.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told the AP that the White House’s thoughts and prayers were with the officer’s family.

“There was a serious accident involving a Jupiter, Fla., police department motorcycle officer, who was part of the motorcycle escort for the motorcade,” Carney told reporters after Air Force One left Palm Beach, according to a pool report. “The accident happened ahead of the motorcade itself and no other vehicle in the motorcade was involved in the accident. As I said, the accident was serious. The ambulance that was part of the motorcade, or an ambulance that was part of the motorcade was released immediately from the motorcade to assist on the scene and I know that the officer was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center.”

President Obama, who was making an appearance at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, was notified of St. Laurent’s death while en route back to Washington, D.C.

St. Laurent was married and had a son who served in Iraq. His fellow officers characterized him as generous. He played Santa Claus for charity and “would do anything for anyone,” police spokesman Sgt. Scott Pascarella told The Palm Beach Post.

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.

In 2001, St. Laurent was injured when a vehicle he was chasing westbound on Indiantown Road suddenly stopped and he rammed into the vehicle. Two men in the vehicle were later arrested, one for driving with a revoked license and the other for having an outstanding warrant for reckless driving.

Another motorcycle officer was killed in 2008 while escorting then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s motorcade.

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