Bruce St. Laurent, an officer with the Jupiter, Florida police department, was killed in a motorcycle accident Sunday on Interstate 95, reports say. Laurent, 55, was traveling in President Obama’s motorcade as they headed to the airport when a driver of a Ford F-150 collided with his motorcycle. Laurent was rushed to the St. Mary’s Medical Center where he was listed in serious condition. He was later pronounced dead of his injuries. The driver of the Ford F-150 was apprehended, but no charges have been filed. The driver’s identity is being withheld as the FPH continues their investigation.
According to reports, Laurent had been with the police department for twenty years, had been married for thirty, and had four children. He had been on the Jupiter Police Department’s motorcycle unit for 18 years and had acquired numerous accolades for his work. In the years of 1993, 1996, and 2008 he was awarded the departments’ “Officer of the Quarter” award. In 1996, the office named him “Officer of the Year” for his outstanding contributions to the department.
“Bruce St. Laurent was a valued member of our community and employee within the Town of Jupiter. He was an amazing person who will be missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know him,” a tribute page dedicated to the officer reads. “The genuine kindness and generosity Officer St. Laurent has shown our community over the years did not go unnoticed.”
Reports say the incident took place while the president’s motorcade moved down I95 around 4:40 in the afternoon on Sunday. Laurent was on his police motorcycle near the front of the vehicle escort when the driver of a Ford F-150 struck his motorcycle for unknown reasons. When medical crews came to the scene, they rushed Laurent to the St. Mary’s Medical Center with critical injuries. Doctors pronounced him dead shortly after.
Sources state that Obama had been in West Palm Beach, Florida to attend a campaign event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. A spokesperson from the White House said that the president did not experience or witness the accident fist hand, but that he was later notified while flying to Washington, D.C. In a public response regarding the loss, Obama sent his condolences to the family and friends of the officer.
The FHP, along with the Juniper Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fatal accident, and has told the press that they have not ruled out the possibility that the collision may have been intentional. So far, there has been no release as to the age or gender of the driver, of if he or she was under the influence of alcohol or any other illicit substances. The accident is not believed to have been an attempt on President Obama’s wellbeing.
Laurent was reportedly no stranger to accident-related injury. Reports say that, in 2001, Laurent sustained injuries in a crash that occurred after he pursued a vehicle down Indiantown Road. In that incident, the fleeing vehicle came to an abrupt halt in front of Laurent’s cruiser and the two collided violently. The drivers were charged with reckless driving later on following the collision.