MOUNT VERNON – The Washington State Patrol says Trooper Sean O’Connell was killed in an on-duty accident Friday evening, when the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a box truck.
Trooper O’Connell, who was 38 years old, was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital.
Just before 5:45 Friday evening in Conway, WSP says Trooper O’Connell was heading eastbound on his patrol motorcycle on Fir Island Road when a white box truck struck the officer. WSP says O’Connell was thrown from his bike and landed in the middle of the roadway.
The truck driver was not harmed during the collision. Officials say he’s a 49 year old man from Mount Vernon.
Trooper O’Connell had been with the agency for 16 years, was married with a son age seven and a daughter age five.
“We not only lost a great trooper, we lost a great human being,” Batiste said. “Sean was known around the department and the community for both his sense of humor and sense of compassion.”
WSP says Trooper O’Connell was participating in a traffic control detail in connection with the detour around the Skagit River Bridge collapse. Details of the fatal collision are under investigation, but WSP says it is known that O’Connell had checked the length of a vehicle backup and was returning to a traffic control point when the fatal collision occurred.
Batiste confirmed that the other driver was cooperating completely with the investigation, and that neither drugs nor alcohol are thought to be a factor.
“We have no indication that this is anything other than a tragic accident,” Batiste said.
WSP says memorial services will be developed according to the wishes of Trooper O’Connell’s family, and those arrangements are pending.