FHP Trooper, 2 Others Struck and Killed by Truck

The three were hit by a pickup truck as they stood on the shoulder of a highway.

Monday, May 5, 2014  |  Updated 7:05 AM EDT
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Trooper Chelsea Richard

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A Florida Highway Patrol trooper and two others were killed over the weekend after being struck by a vehicle while standing alongside Interstate 75 near a traffic accident, authorities said.

FHP officials said veteran trooper Chelsea Richard died Saturday afternoon after she, tow truck driver John Duggan and pedestrian George Phillip were hit by a pickup truck as they stood on the shoulder beside the interstate in Marion County.

Richard, 30 and Duggan, 57, were pronounced dead at the scene. The FHP said that 52-year-old Phillip later died at a hospital.

Richard initially arrived on the scene of a two-car crash on I-75 southbound. Both cars involved in the crash were on the shoulder. Shortly afterward, authorities said, a pickup truck traveled onto the shoulder and struck the trooper's vehicle, the trooper, Duggan and Phillip.

The FHP said investigators are going through physical evidence and witness statements. Authorities said charges are pending completion of the investigation, which could take several months.

Richard was a nine-year veteran of the FHP, and the 45th FHP trooper killed in the line of duty.

Funeral arrangements for Richard were still being worked out by her family.

"We are all heartbroken that Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard, John Duggan and George Robert Phillips were struck and killed yesterday," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement. "Trooper Richard was killed in the line of duty, working to keep Florida's roadways safe. My FHP Trooper friends are devastated, and my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Trooper Chelsea Richard, John Duggan and George Robert Phillips as we all mourn their loss."

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