Trooper Chelsea Richard
Florida Highway Patrol, Florida
End of Watch: Saturday, May 3, 2014
Tour of Duty: 9 years
Badge Number: 1087
Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle
Date of Incident: May 3, 2014
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Colonel David H. Brierton, Jr.
Florida Highway Patrol
Neil Kirkman Building
2900 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 617-2301
Trooper Chelsea Richard was struck and killed by a vehicle while investigating an accident on I-75, near mile marker 341, at approximately 2:00 pm.
The vehicles involved in the accident had been moved to the shoulder. She was speaking with a tow truck driver and one of the occupants when another accident occurred at the same location. A pickup truck pulling a trailer left the roadway and struck all three, killing Trooper Richard and the tow truck driver. The third pedestrian suffered critical injuries.
Trooper Richard had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for nine years. She was survived by her 4-year-old son, parents, and grandparents.
OCALA, Fla. — A 30-year-old Florida Highway Patrol trooper and a tow truck driver were killed Saturday while they were both working a traffic crash on Interstate 75 in Ocala, authorities said.
Troopers said just after 2 p.m., FHP trooper Chelsea Richard was finishing up a two-car crash investigation on I-75 southbound at mile marker 341.
According to reports, the cars involved in the crash were off to the shoulder of the road, and as the trooper was talking with the tow truck driver, John Duggan, a pickup truck traveled onto the east shoulder on the southbound lanes of I-75.
Troopers said the pickup struck the FHP patrol car, Richard, Duggan, and a pedestrian, Robert Phillips, as they stood on the shoulder of the road.
Richard and Duggan died at the scene, according to authorities.
Phillips was transported in critical condition to Ocala Regional Hospital.
“Trooper Richard and Mr. Duggan died on the scene. Mr. Phillips was transported in critical condition to Ocala hospital where he remains,” said FHP director Col. David Brierton.
A total of seven vehicles were involved in the crash, troopers said.
The northbound lanes of I-75 are open, but some of the southbound lanes were blocked for nearly eight hours, creating heavy delays.
Black bands covered the shields of troopers as they addressed the media following the accident.
“This is a tragic day for the state of Florida and for the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol,” Brierton saod. “We send our deepest condolences to the families of trooper Richard, Mr. John Duggan, Mr. George Phillips and everyone involved.”
Richard was a nine-year veteran of FHP.
She leaves behind a 4-year-old son, a father in New York, and a mother in Charlotte County.
The crash is still under investigation.
“Our investigators need to sit down and go step by step to figure out exactly what happened out there,” said Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace. “This has been a very trying day. There’s a lot we need to look into. Right now we are focusing on the victim and their families.”
Troopers said they are looking into whether the driver of the pickup truck was impaired at the time of the crash.
No charges have been filed.