IRMA: Hardee County deputy, corrections officer killed in head-on crash

Last Updated: Sunday, September 10, 2017, 3:55 PM EDT

A Hardee County Sheriff's deputy leaving a Hurricane Irma shelter and a corrections officer heading to work were killed Sunday morning in a head-on crash, the Sheriff's Office said.

Just after 6:30 a.m., Deputy Julie Ann Bridges of Wauchula had just left an overnight shift at a Hardee County Irma shelter, while Hardee corrections Sgt. Joseph J. Ossman of Sebring was headed into work at the Hardee County Correctional Institute, according to a Florida Highway Patrol preliminary report.

Bridges, 42, was headed east on State Road 66 in a marked agency vehicle, and Ossman, 53, was westbound on the roadway in a 2012 Nissan Altima.

Their vehicles collided near the intersection of Old Crewsville Road, troopers said.

Both were wearing seat belts but died at the scene, investigators said.

Bridges was in the civil division and had been with the Sheriff's Office for more than 13 years.

“My prayers are with the families of Sgt. Ossman and Deputy Bridges who lost their lives this morning serving their community during this State of Emergency," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement. "Sgt. Ossman and Deputy Bridges served our state for many years, taking risks every day to ensure the safety of others. The two officers’ vehicles collided in a tragic accident while they were out working to protect our state."

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.