Two law enforcement officials killed in possibly storm-related crash

A Hardee County deputy assigned to a hurricane shelter and a corrections officer died Sunday in a head-on crash.

According to NDN,  Sheriff Arnold Lanier identified the victims as Deputy Julie Bridges and corrections Sgt. Joseph Ossman.

Officials said Bridges, a 13-year veteran of the agency. She had spent the night securing a Hardee County shelter and had left to get supplies when the crash occurred, Lanier said.

"We're all very saddened," Lanier said.

The crash is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Conditions at the time of the crash were windy and rainy, Lanier said.

There is a prison in Hardee County but it was not one of the facilities listed as under evacuation by the Florida Department of Corrections.

Hardee County is east of Sarasota and within the area still threatened by Hurricane Irma. Emergency crews rushed to the scene of the crash as state officials continued to prepare the state as the Category Storm continued to move north. 

 

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