FHP trooper killed in crash on Orlando highway
Wreck reported before dawn on SR 408 east near Conway Road in Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was killed early Friday morning when his cruiser struck a truck carrying construction equipment on State Road 408 in Orange County, according to FHP spokeswoman Kim Montes.
Video from WKMG-TV's helicopter showed the FHP cruiser wedged next to a truck.
Trooper Tracy Vickers (pictured, right) served more than four years with the Florida Highway Patrol as a field training officer. He previously served in the U.S. Navy.
Vickers, 31, who died at the crash site, was the only person injured. He was driving home at the end of his shift and was not responding to a call.
Officials said they're working to recover dash camera video from Vickers' patrol car since the impact of the crash should have activated the device. It's unclear if authorities will be able to recover the equipment given the damage from the crash, but if video is available, it would show the 30 seconds prior to the crash.
FHP Col. Gene Spaulding said the crash investigation is still in its early stages and it could be several weeks before authorities know exactly what happened.
Spaulding said Vickers was a mentor and leader. He said agency officials are working with Vickers' family to ensure that he's remembered for all he did for the community.
"He did it willingly, he did it passionately and he did a phenomenal job for us," Spaulding said. "He will truly be missed."
The crash was reported around 6 a.m. Friday on State Road 408 near Conway Road. All eastbound lanes of SR 408 were closed all morning and eastbound ramps were closed from downtown Orlando to Lake Underhill Road.
Eastbound traffic was backed up for 3.5 miles, WKMG reported.
Everyone at the Orange County Sheriff's Office is standing with and praying for our brothers and sisters of @FHPOrlando this morning after the serious crash involving a #Trooper. pic.twitter.com/tqzicDhupO— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) September 27, 2019
"The entire FLHSMV family and his FHP brothers and sisters are heartbroken today as we mourn the loss of Trooper Tracy Vickers. Trooper Vickers was a leader within the patrol and his troop," said Terry Rhodes, executive director of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. "Please keep his family in your prayers."
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