A Florida Highway Patrol trooper died Saturday night after being struck by a car in the median of Interstate 75.
Sgt. William Bishop, 52, was investigating a car crash that happened at about 6 p.m. on southbound I-75 near mile marker 403, about 7 miles north of Alachua, said Lieutenant Patrick Riordan, an FHP spokesperson.
While investigating the scene on foot with at least one other trooper, a second car crash at about 6:30 p.m. sent a vehicle straight at Bishop, Riordan said. Emergency medical personnel brought him to UF Health Shands Hospital, where the FHP veteran of 30 years was pronounced dead at about 8:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, distracted driving, or “rubbernecking,” kills troopers on roadways more than it should, Riordan said. In his 32 years of law enforcement, he said he can recall about eight troopers who were killed from head-on collisions on the highway while outside their patrol cars.
“Driving is an active process,” he said. “It goes back to some good old-fashioned basics — be aware of what’s happening outside your vehicle.”
Bishop leaves behind a family — his wife and adult son. As is protocol with families of fallen servicemen, Riordan said, officers will remain with them to offer assistance and support through Bishop’s funeral and service arrangements, which will be planned starting Monday, after Father’s Day.
“We care for the family to the best of our ability,” he said.