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WASHINGTON: A Florida police officer escorting President Barack Obama’s motorcade died Sunday after he was struck by a vehicle, officials said.
Obama has been notified of the officer’s death, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
Jupiter Police Department spokesman Sergeant Scott Pascarella told AFP that Bruce St. Laurent was working to shut down the Interstate 95 highway when a vehicle struck him. He was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he later died.
“The accident happened ahead of the motorcade itself and no other vehicle in the motorcade was involved in the accident,” Carney said.
As the presidential motorcade passed by the scene of the accident, St. Laurent could be seen under the body of the vehicle, with his destroyed motorcycle beside him.
Obama had earlier addressed supporters at the nearby Palm Beach County Convention Center in the seaside city during a tour of the crucial battleground state of Florida.
Just last month, two vans in the motorcade of Obama’s Republican challenger Mitt Romney were involved in a minor collision as he toured reviewed storm damage near New Orleans.
A press van rear-ended a staff van in the area of Jean Lafitte, leaving the press pool that travels with the motorcade separated from Romney, who headed back to his campaign plane in New Orleans.
No one was believed to be injured.
Presidential and campaign motorcades can be harrowing affairs, especially when they travel at high speeds on public roads that are not closed to traffic.
An officer in then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s motorcade was killed in February 2008 in Dallas when his motorcycle hit a curb. AFP