In a terribly tragic incident in Florida on February 2, 2024, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Zachary Fink, a three-year veteran of the force, was killed in an accident when chasing a suspect whom local deputies had witnessed driving at an excessive speed.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, deputies from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Ofice saw a white Kia fly by at an “excessive” speed. They decided to attempt a traffic stop and ticket the Kia, but the driver instead fled the scene and tried getting away in a high-speed chase.
Trooper Fink got involved because he happened to be in the area when the suspect in the Kia fled, whipping the car in a U-Turn on the highway and driving in the wrong direction. Witnessing the Kia speed off, Trooper Fink attempted to chase down the Kia. Beginning the pursuit, Trooper Fink attempted a U-Turn, at which point he was struck by a sem-truck.
Sadly, both Trooper Fink and the driver of the semi-truck were killed in the horrific crash. Meanwhile, the suspect managed to flee, getting off the interstate. The suspect, however, ended up crashing as well and then fleeing on foot, abandoning the vehicle.
The Florida Highway Patrol later added that Trooper Fink’s handcuffs were used to handcuff the suspect whom he was chasing when killed in the horrific crash. Posting about that on its Facebook page, the Florida Highway Patrol said, “When Trooper Fink, ID 1550, lost his life in the line of duty, he was on a mission to apprehend the Defendant and put him in cuffs. A short time later, fellow Troopers did arrest the defendant. While doing so, Trooper Fink’s handcuffs were placed on the defendant, making sure Trooper Fink’s mission was ultimately accomplished.”
Commenting on that post with an incredibly powerful prayer, one commenter said, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Dear Heavenly Father, we bow before you today and grieve the loss of Florida Highway Trooper Fink who was killed in the line of duty. Zachary gave his life while protecting our lives, our homes and our communities. “Greater love has no one than he lay down one’s life for his fellow man. This TRUE American Hero answered the call to a difficult and dangerous task and has shown his love and commitment in the finest tradition of American Law Enforcement for us and for this we are eternally grateful. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen”
Speaking on the incident, Executive Director Dave Kerner said, “Today is a sad and difficult day for the profession of law enforcement. 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.”
Similarly, Florida Highway Patrol Colonel Gary Howze II said, “Trooper Fink died a hero protecting and serving his community. 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.”
Featured image credit: Florida Highway Patrol
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