Florida sheriff's deputy killed by traffic during foot chase
Posted November 22
YULEE, Fla. — A Florida sheriff's deputy was fatally struck by a vehicle Tuesday morning as he chased a suspect across a highway near Jacksonville.
Deputy Eric Oliver, 32, and another deputy chased after the man, who was one of six people federal agents were interviewing outside a gas station in Yulee around 7:30 a.m., Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a news conference. He said he'd just informed Oliver's family of his death.
Agents from the U.S. Border Customs and Border Patrol were interviewing six people in a pickup truck when one of the men ran. Two deputies chased after him. The other deputy made it safely to the highway median, said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan. His agency is investigating the crash.
The suspect remained at large Tuesday morning and a manhunt was underway.
The deputies were at the gas station Tuesday morning on an unrelated call and were asked to stay and assist the border patrol agents.
Leeper said he spoke to Oliver's wife earlier Tuesday morning. He said Oliver "died doing what he wanted to do," adding that he "dedicated his life to protecting the county."
The deputy had a 6-year-old daughter.
Leeper called it a "tragic day," adding the department was blessed to have Oliver as a deputy for the past seven years.
Sheriff's cruisers and fire department vehicles — their lights flashing — escorted an ambulance carrying the deputy's body away from the scene of the crash, according to local television news footage.