Officer down: Maine deputy killed after being struck by vehicle during early morning call

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TRENTON, ME – A Hancock County deputy was fatally struck by a driver after responding to an early morning call about a vehicle that was off the road, according to reports.

As of this time, it’s unclear what authorities are pursuing with regard to the driver, as the investigation was handed over to the Maine State Police who’ve yet to comment on that aspect.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the passing of Deputy Luke Gross, who was killed after being struck by a motorist after responding to a vehicle off the road shortly before 4:00 a.m. on September 23rd along Route 3 in Trenton.

Sheriff Scott Kane stated that Deputy Gross had been with the sheriff’s department for the past 18 years. Deputy Gross was cited as having loved children, previously serving as a DARE officer, and is survived by his wife and two children.

Sheriff Kane noted that “the world” would be better off if there were more men and women like Deputy Gross in law enforcement:

“We will miss Luke greatly. He was a great addition to our family at the sheriff’s office and a credit to his profession. The world needs more like Luke in law enforcement and in our communities.”

In a statement released from Maine Governor Janet Mills, Deputy Gross was highlighted for the fact that his final acts before passing were an effort to keep locals safe:

“Today, we mourn the loss of Deputy Gross, a member of Maine’s law enforcement community killed in the line of duty. My heart goes out to his friends, family, and fellow officers. May we always remember that our law enforcement officers are dedicated public servants who risk their own lives every day to protect the safety of Maine people.

Deputy Gross ended his watch protecting our great state, and his service and sacrifice will not be forgotten. On behalf of the people of Maine, I extend our condolences to his family, loved ones, and colleagues around the state.”

Regional School Unit 24 shared a post to Facebook commemorating the fallen deputy, sharing kind words regarding Deputy Gross’ work as a DARE officer over the years:

“Our hearts and prayers are with the Gross family during this difficult time.  Our prayers and condolences also go out to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Dept. as well as Hancock School Department as they begin the grieving process for such an incredible brother and community contributor.

Deputy Gross was the DARE officer in RSU 24 for the past several years now. He has supported our schools and students much beyond that program as well.

He made an INCREDIBLE impact on our students and we are heartbroken to hear the tragic news. We are eternally grateful for his support, guidance, and genuine care. May he Rest In Peace.”

Deputy Gross’ death comes roughly two weeks after both the Maine State Police and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety urged drivers to respect the 2007 state law known as “Move Over”, which the law pertains to giving space to law enforcement officers when they’re working alongside roads.

Governor Mills ordered all flags be lowered to half-staff statewide on the day of Deputy Gross’ memorial service.

The identity of the driver involved in the incident has not been released by officials.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this ongoing investigation.

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Texas police officer, a Navy veteran and father of 5, killed in the line of duty following crash with 18-wheeler

(Originally published August 1st, 2021)

AUSTIN, TX – An Austin Police officer passed away as a result of sustained injuries that occurred during a crash with an 18-wheeler earlier in July while the officer was responding to an emergency call at the time.

Officer Lewis “Andy” Traylor was reportedly responding to an emergency call in Central East Austin during the early morning hours of July 28th when the collision occurred.

Officials say that the driver of the 18-wheeler was making a U-turn on FM 969 in front of Officer Traylor’s cruiser, which the officer’s cruiser collided with the trailer and became pinned underneath the vehicle.  

Police say that the driver of the 18-wheeler stayed on the scene of the accident and is cooperating with authorities while the incident is investigated. Officials have yet to determine whether charges will be filed against the driver as of this writing.

Sadly, a release from the Austin Police Association stated that Officer Traylor succumbed to his injuries on July 31st:

“It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that I share with you the news that fellow Austin Police Officer Andy Traylor has passed away.”

Former Austin Police Chief Brian Manley took to Twitter to express his condolences over the officer’s death:

“Praying for God’s comfort over Officer Traylor’s family and all of APD in this difficult time. Godspeed Andy!’

Officer Traylor had been with the Austin Police Department for 9 years, prior to his time with the department, he served in the Navy for 10 years. The fallen officer is survived by his wife and five children.

Back in June of 2018, the Austin Police Department highlighted Officer Traylor with one of their “Behind the Badge” posts.

In a post on Twitter, Interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon lamented the loss of Officer Traylor while also noting that in his final acts as an officer, he was doing so to help and serve those in his community:

“Despite the tremendous efforts of [Austin Police], {Austin Fire Department], [Austin/Travis County EMS] and Dell Seton staff, Andy was unable to overcome his grievous injuries. He provided life to many others in need, with the donation of his organs.”

“Even in paying the ultimate sacrifice, Andy was committed to helping others in their time of need and his heroism will live on.”

President of the Austin Police Association, Ken Casaday, also shared condolences on Twitter, writing:

“I’m just devastated tonight. We lost one of the best officers I’ve worked with. Officer Lewis “Andy” Traylor passed away tonight. He is now walking with his Lord and Savior. Andy leaves behind his beautiful wife and 5 children under 13 years of age.  R.I.P my friend.”

A procession was reportedly held during the morning of August 1st as Officer Traylor’s body was transported to the medical examiner’s office.

The 100 Club of Central Texas is actively collecting donations for the family of the fallen officer, which donations can be made by visiting the link here. Austin Cops For Charities is also collecting donations for the family of Officer Traylor as well, which their site can be reached here.

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Officer down: Michigan State Police K9 killed in crash caused by suspected drunk driver

(Originally published July 26th, 2021)

FLINT, MI – A suspected drunk driver crashed into a parked Michigan State Police vehicle earlier in July, killing the MSP K9 inside of the vehicle while also injuring a state trooper.

The driver and two other occupants in the vehicle were also severely injured in the crash, with authorities saying that one of the driver’s occupants is not expected to make it.

At approximately 1:05 a.m. on July 25th, an MSP K9 unit was parked along the M-10 highway, directing traffic to the offramp due to the flooding that was on the highway.

According to the MSP, a vehicle that was “traveling at freeway speed” collided with the MSP unit on the highway.

The unidentified trooper “sustained non-life threatening injuries to his legs”, according to officials, but K9 Rex suffered injuries to the spine and legs from the impact. K9 Rex was transported to Blue Pearl animal hospital where he subsequently succumbed to his sustained injuries.

A series of tweets from the MSP Metro Detroit’s official Twitter account noted that the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash was believed to have been intoxicated during the incident:

“The driver of the suspect vehicle is believed to be under the influence of alcohol. He has serious injuries. The female front seat passenger has critical injuries. The female rear seat passenger also has serious injuries.”

“Troopers and the MSP Crash Reconstruction team investigating the crash and have obtained a blood draw which will be tested for alcohol.”

The driver and two female passengers inside of the vehicle were all transported to an area hospital following the crash.

In an update provided by the MSP, the trooper has been released from the hospital while the driver and their occupants are still hospitalized:

“Update: The trooper has been released from the hospital. He does not appear to have any major injury. The suspect is currently in surgery for his leg and hip. One passenger is still in the ER and listed as stable. The second passenger is in the ICU and is not expected to survive.”

Officials have forwarded the blood draw from the driver over to the lab and are awaiting the results from the test and will hand the results over to the prosecutor to determine next steps regarding the driver.

No identifying details regarding the trooper or the driver and passengers have been shared by officials as of this writing.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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