STARKE, Fla. – A Clay County deputy who died in September from complications of COVID-19 was honored Saturday at the Krawl’n for the Fallen event in Starke.
The event was overshadowed by tragedy Friday night when a skydiver died after his parachute didn’t deploy properly during a fun jump after practice.
Despite the tragic death, the event carried on as law enforcement agencies and families of fallen officers gathered to honor those who have been lost.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said it was honored that Sgt. Eric Twisdale will be recognized with a one-mile memorial run escorted by the department’s motor/traffic unit.
Twisdale had a decorated law enforcement career. He started with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in the 90s before joining the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in 1998.
In 2014, Twisdale was awarded the agency’s Lifesaving Award for rescuing someone from drowning.
“I had worked with his brother in Jacksonville, and I’ve known Eric but we became closer friends over the past year,” Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook told News4Jax when Twisdale passed away. “We were texting back and forth while he’s been in the hospital. I was checking in on him every day and he would text me back.”
Twisdale was also recognized as Clay County’s deputy of the year in 2015 for his role in the arrest of two murder suspects.
Twisdale had served on the dive team, crisis negotiation team, and the honor guard. He was the supervisor of the crime scene unit when he died.
Twisdale is survived by a large family, including two daughters and grandchildren.