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Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Killed During Traffic Stop

Florida Highway Patrol addressed the death of a trooper earlier this morning in Port St. Lucie. The statement is below.

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA.Today, Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) announced the loss of Trooper Zachary Fink, assigned to Troop L out of Indian River County. Trooper Fink, a graduate of the 146th recruit class, graduated from the FHP academy on December 18, 2020, and was assigned to Troop D, and later transferred to Troop L, Port St. Lucie; his mother, father, and fiancée survived him; all residents of Port St. Lucie.

Early this morning, St. Lucie County Deputies observed a white Kia driving at an excessive speed; when the Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle fled the scene.

Trooper Fink, who was in the area, saw the vehicle make a U-Turn and begin driving in the wrong direction. Trooper Fink then moved to make a U-Turn, and his vehicle was struck by a semi-truck near mile marker 120 southbound.

Both Trooper Fink and the driver of the semi-truck suffered fatal injuries. The suspect vehicle fled off the interstate, ultimately crashing and abandoning the vehicle on Commerce Center Drive near Brandywine Ln.

“Today is a sad and difficult day for the profession of law enforcement,” said Executive Director Dave Kerner. “FHP has a proud history, and Trooper Fink is a hero who died while helping people, something he was passionate about since the age of six. This dedication and love for helping others defines FHP and the FHP family honors his service and pray for everyone who lost a loved one today.”

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“Trooper Fink died a hero protecting and serving his community,” said FHP Colonel Gary Howze II. “After speaking with his family, I can say that Trooper Fink was living his dream as a Florida State Trooper when a felon tragically took his life. As a first responder, sacrifice is not new; it is daily and experienced while living, when missing breakfast with family, or when at work instead of with family. We appreciate Trooper Fink’s sacrifice and know that the people of Florida are safer because of his commitment to keeping them safe.”

This morning at 8:06 a.m., FHP Troopers and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office apprehended a person of interest in this case.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office is handling the criminal investigation, and the traffic homicide investigation will be led by FHP traffic homicide investigators. Additional information will be provided as soon as appropriate notifications have been made and as it becomes available, however the investigation is open and active.

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