A Jupiter Police motorcycle patrolman was clipped by a pickup truck and thrown to the pavement while riding ahead of President Barack Obama‘s motorcade this afternoon, police sources tell Gossip Extra.
The accident, possibly at 80 mph, occurred about 4:30 p.m. in the area of 45th Street on I-95 — minutes before Obama’s campaign appearance at the Palm Beach County Convention Center downtown West Palm Beach.
The officer was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center but was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
He was identified exclusively to Gossip Extra as Bruce Saint Laurent, 54, a 20-year veteran of the force.
Cops who worked similar details say presidential motorcade aren’t without risks. At times, high speeds are maintained in traffic to ensure the president’s safety in wide open areas.
Saint Laurent, who taught the basics of traffic investigations to Jupiter High School seniors, was apparently ahead of the motorcade to shut down the I-95 ramp at 45th Street, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
No-nonsense cop Saint Laurent was known to be a stand up guy and liked among his peers. He made news in 2000 when he turned in a son whom he suspected of driving a getaway car in a robbery.
“Some people listen to the words (the police oath) when they raise their right hand, and some don’t,” Saint Laurent said at the time when asked how he felt about giving up a family member.
His other son served in Iraq.
In 2008 Saint Laurent, who was also the department’s DUI homicide investigator, received an award from the local Kiwanis Club for what the club called “pro-active” law enforcement. He was partly credited for bringing down the city’s accident rate by 5 percent.