Third Person Dies In Crash That Killed Trooper

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UPDATE 11:15 p.m.
By: James Buechele

Tallahassee, Fla.

MAJ Mark Welch has been with the Florida Highway Patrol for more than 30 years. This week, as the flags remain at half staff, Welch wears a black band over his badge after the accident that killed Chelsea Richard and two others.

"One of the people that lost their lives wears the same uniform that I wear and worked on the same road that I spent many of my years," said Welch.

On Thursday, Richard was laid to rest in front of hundreds of law enforcement officers and the governor.

"When you hear about a law enforcement individual that has died in the line of duty died in a car accident, died, whatever the cause is your just, heart breaks," said Gov. Rick Scott at the funeral.

FHP has made it a goal to educate the public about the 'Move Over Law' requiring drivers on the highway to do just that if they see a patrol car on the side of the road.

"We've had press conferences we've had survivors from law enforcement families that have lost their lives in move over crashes," said Welch.

The FHP veteran says he hopes people learn from this weekend tragedy to avoid another heartbreaking story.

"You're in charge of a 3,500 pound object that's being propelled down the interstate at 70 miles an hour. You've got to have that vehicle under control."

CBS Orlando Web Copy
May 5, 2014

Marion County, FL - The Florida Highway Patrol says a third person has died after a crash that killed an FHP trooper and tow truck driver.

Troopers said 30-year-old Chelsea Richard was killed Saturday afternoon along with John Duggan.

On Sunday the third pedestrian, 52-year-old George Phillips, died as a result of his injuries from the crash, troopers said.

Richard was a 9-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol and leaves behind a 4-year-old child, troopers said.

Around 1:40 p.m. Saturday troopers arrived at a two car crash on Interstate 75 at mile marker 341.

Troopers said the crash was moved off to the side of the road while they waited for the tow truck to arrive.

Officials said around 2 p.m. Richard was talking to the tow truck driver, identified as John Duggan when a multiple car crash happened in the same area.

Richard and Duggan were pronounced dead on scene. Phillips was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center where he died.

The Florida Highway Patrol is continuing their investigation into this crash and will announce funeral arrangements for Richard in the next few days.

"We are all heartbroken that Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard, John Duggan and George Robert Phillips were struck and killed yesterday," said Attorney General Pam Bondi in a statement. "Trooper Richard was killed in the line of duty, working to keep Florida's roadways safe. My FHP Trooper friends are devastated, and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Trooper Chelsea Richard, John Duggan and George Robert Phillips as we all mourn their loss.”

By: James Buechele
May 4, 2014

Ocala, FL - A Florida Highway Patrol trooper dies in the line of duty.

Chelsea Richard arrived on scene of a two-car crash on I-75 southbound near Ocala yesterday afternoon. Both cars involved in the crash were located on the shoulder.

While Richard was talking with the tow truck driver, a pickup truck traveled onto the east shoulder and struck the FHP patrol vehicle.

Richard and the tow truck driver were pronounced dead at the scene. A third person was transported in critical condition to Ocala Regional Hospital.

Richard was a nine-year veteran of FHP.

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