By Lamaur Stancil and Eric Rogers, Florida Today
A Brevard County sheriff’s deputy was killed in a crash involving a semi truck and the deputy’s marked patrol car on Interstate 95 near Titusville Saturday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey identified Field Training Deputy Kevin Stanton as the driver of the patrol car. A bad tire on the semi was the preliminary cause of the crash, FHP said.
“Our focus is helping Kevin’s family face this tragedy,” Ivey said.
“It will be tough. Together, we’ll get through it. The family has been doing as well as you can imagine at this time.”
The crash happened about 5:10 a.m. near mile marker 217, just north of State Road 50.
FHP said the semi was traveling in the adjacent lane when a tire lost its treading and wrapped around the axel, causing the driver to lose control and collide with Stanton’s patrol cruiser.
The driver of the semi was hospitalized for minor injuries, FHP said.
Traffic was blocked for about five hours.
Ivey and FHP Lt. Channing Taylor spoke at the Sheriff’s precinct in Titusville Saturday morning.
“An amazing young man,” Ivey said.
“He was very passionate about the job and I can tell you our entire command team, our hearts are broken this morning. We lost one of our family.”
Ivey was visibly upset as he delivered the news. He was flanked by a line of deputies who wore black bands around their badges to mourn their colleague.
“it’s never easy when you get that phone call at 5:15 in the morning telling you you’ve lost one of your own,” Ivery said.
“You try to put your arms around it, you think about the smile on Kevin’s face. You think about his passion for this job.”
“You think about the 1,500 members of this agency that are each right now gut-punched, trying to grasp what happened.”
Stanton, an 11-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was assigned to the west precinct in Viera, Ivey said. He was headed to Viera to start a shift when the crash happened.
“His command loved him,” Ivey said. “They had incredible things to say about him.”
Gov. Rick Scott also reached out to the Sheriff’s Office, Ivey said.
Thoughts and prayers go out to all members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the family of the fallen Sheriff’s Deputy who was tragically killed this morning in a traffic crash on Interstate 95.
— Titusville Police FL (@TitusvillePD) February 17, 2018
Editor’s Note: Please join us in prayer for the family Deputy Kevin Stanton and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.