Law enforcement officers from across Florida gathered in Tallahassee on Monday for a special ceremony to honor officers killed in the line of the duty while working a crash on I-75 south of Ocala over the weekend.
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard, 30, was on the interstate with a tow truck driver and another man working a two-car crash Saturday afternoon, when a five-car collision happened.
A pickup truck struck Richard, tow truck driver John Duggan and George Robert Phillips. All three were killed.
Richard was a 9-year FHP veteran and leaves behind a 4-year-old son.
“We are human beings,” said Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace. “We are mothers. We are fathers. We’re sisters, we’re brothers. We’re grandmothers and grandfathers and we’re out here to keep people safe. While everybody doesn’t feel that way, that is our goal.”
Ten Florida law enforcement officers have been killed since the beginning of 2013, including three in Central Florida this year.
Orange County Deputy Scott Pine and Windermere police Officer Robert German both were shot and killed investigating cases by suspects who then turned the gun on themselves.
Both were laid to rest after touching ceremonies attended by hundreds of officers from around the state.
Details are still being finalized for Richard’s funeral.
She will also be honored this month at a ceremony planned later this month at Marion County's Fallen Officer Memorial.