The collapse of the bridge over Skagit River has caused its fair share of problems since Memorial Day weekend, and now, a Washington State Patrol trooper has died after being hit while directing traffic around the site. That trooper was 38-yea-old Sean O’Connell. O’Connell was described by Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste as a “great human being”.
It is unclear exactly how the accident occurred, and an investigation into the details is still ongoing, but O’Connell was hit by a box truck driven by a 49-year-old man from Mount Vernon. He was not killed on impact, but died at the hospital he was taken to following the crash. O’Connell was a motorcycle trooper who had been with the WSP for sixteen years. He had received the distinguished “Trooper of the Year” award for his district. Those who knew him say that he was dedicated to his job and serving the people of Washington.
Just before the accident, O’Connell had been checking on a vehicle backup. He was going back to the spot where he had been directing traffic when he was hit. A memorial service honoring O’Connell and his work has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Everett. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the family, friends and fellow troopers of Sean O’Connell.