Deputy Sheriff Mark A. Longway Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Florida End of Watch: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photograph: Deputy Sheriff Mark A. Longway Patch image: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Florida

Deputy Sheriff Mark A. Longway
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Florida

End of Watch: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 48
Tour of Duty: 6 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Deputy Mark Longway was killed in a vehicle accident in downtown Tampa when his patrol car collided with a tractor trailer at the intersection of Florida Avenue and Scott Street at 5:15 am.
His patrol car became trapped underneath the trailer as a result of the collision. He had just completed his shift when the accident occurred.
Deputy Longway was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for six years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Agency Contact Information
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
2008 E 8th Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605
Phone: (813) 247-8000
Please contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

TAMPA – Deputy Mark Longway was almost at the end of another long shift patrolling near the port Tuesday morning when his dayshift relief arrived early.

The zone was covered, the colleague said; Longway could head home.

"Thanks," Longway e-mailed back.

Minutes later, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy was involved in a fatal crash.

Longway, who worked six years with the sheriff’s office after serving 21 years in the Air Force, was killed Tuesday morning when his cruiser and a CVS pharmacy tractor-trailer collided downtown. It took nearly five hours for a wrecker to extricate the cruiser, which was wedged beneath the trailer of the rig.

Authorities think the deputy died instantly.

Longway, 48, was heading home when the 5:15 a.m. wreck occurred at Florida Avenue and Scott Street, deputies said. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and one granddaughter.

Funeral services are set for Monday at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., immediately followed by a memorial service.

The first indication Longway’s colleagues had that something was wrong was when the deputy didn’t answer dispatchers Tuesday morning. Deputy John Longa called Longway’s cell phone to check up on him.

"I called and left two messages on his cell," Longa said. "He never responded. Obviously, he couldn’t answer."

When he was hired after a long stint in the Air Force, Longway was in his 40s but "had the energy of a 21-year-old rookie," Longa said.

"He served his country first, and then he came home to serve the people in Hillsborough County," Longa said.

The truck driver, 39-year-old Lamont Ashley of Davenport, was not injured.

The wreck affected downtown traffic for hours. The crash scene was next to Interstate 275, between access ramps at Ashley Drive and Jefferson Street/Orange Avenue.

The semitrailer was driving east on Scott and the deputy’s car was going north on Florida, Deputy Chief Jose Docobo said.

One of the vehicles ran a red light, Docobo said, but investigators don’t yet know which.

Just what happened is unclear, though "the scene itself tells you a lot of what may have happened," Docobo said. Longway was not on his way to a service call and did not have his emergency lights on at the time, investigators said.

Hours after the crash, deputies studied skid marks and ran tests with another patrol car traveling at various speeds and slamming on the brakes in an attempt to determine the speed of the deputy’s car.

Deputies also looked for witnesses and asked nearby business owners if they had surveillance cameras that recorded the wreck, Cpl. Michael Cherup said. Deputies said they would go through 911 calls to see if anyone called in the wreck.

This was the second time in less than a week that a Hillsborough deputy has been in a serious traffic crash.

On Thursday, Deputy Deborah Walker, 51, was in a crash involving an 82,000-pound crane, a HART bus, a dump truck and a minivan on 56th Street. Eight people were hospitalized. Walker, the most seriously injured, was in fair condition Monday morning, with five broken ribs, bruised lungs and a 10-inch cut to her left arm.

Longway is the third Hillsborough County law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty this year. Tampa police Officers Jeffrey Kocab and Dave Curtis were fatally shot June 29.

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