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Florida Highway Patrol trooper killed in crash in line of duty: ‘Hero who died while helping people’

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was killed in the line of duty on Friday morning when he crashed on Interstate 95. 

Trooper Zachary Fink collided with a semi-truck while in pursuit of a felony suspect, according to FOX 35. 

Troopers had attempted a traffic stop on a Kia driver who was going at an excessive speed. 

Fink attempted to make a U-turn to follow the Kia after the suspect, after failing to stop for troopers, made a U-turn and began driving in the wrong direction.

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Trooper Zachary Fink graduated with the 146th recruit class in December 2020. (Florida Highway Patrol)

Fink was hit by a semi-truck. He and the semi-truck driver were both killed in the crash. 

The suspect fled the scene and eventually crashed and abandoned his vehicle. There was no word on what charges the suspect faces. 

A person of interest has been apprehended, and the investigation remains active, the FHP said. 

“Florida Highway Patrol Mourns the Loss of Trooper Zachary Fink Who Died in the Line of Duty,” the department said in a statement on social media. 

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“Today is a sad and difficult day for the profession of law enforcement,” Dave Kerner, executive director of the FHP, said. “FHP has a proud history, and Trooper Fink is a hero who died while helping people, something he was passionate about since the age of six. This dedication and love for helping others defines FHP and the FHP family honors his service and pray for everyone who lost a loved one today.”

Fink graduated with the 146th recruit class in December 2020, and was assigned to Troop L out of Port St. Lucie at the time of his death. 

“Trooper Fink died a hero protecting and serving his community,” FHP Colonel Gary Howze II said. “After speaking with his family, I can say that Trooper Fink was living his dream as a Florida State Trooper when a felon tragically took his life. As a first responder, sacrifice is not new; it is daily and experienced while living, when missing breakfast with family, or when at work instead of with family. We appreciate Trooper Fink’s sacrifice and know that the people of Florida are safer because of his commitment to keeping them safe.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis extended his condolences on social media. 

“Our hearts go out to the family of FHP Trooper Zachary Fink, who was killed in the line of duty while attempting to detain a fleeing felon in St. Lucie County,” he wrote on X. “@CaseyDeSantis and I are praying for the Fink family and the entire FHP community.” 

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Fink is survived by his parents and his fiancée. 

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