A Washington State Patrol trooper died Friday when a box truck struck his motorcycle near where a bridge had collapsed.
Trooper Sean M. O'Connell, 38, had responded to the Skagit River Bridge collapse around 5 p.m. Friday. He was working a traffic detour detail on Fir Island Road, when the crash occurred.
Trooper O'Connell had checked the length of a vehicle backup and was returning to a traffic control point when the fatal collision occurred, according to the agency. The truck driver is cooperating with investigators. Drugs or alcohol weren't a factor.
"We not only lost a great trooper, we lost a great human being," Chief John Batiste. "Sean was known around the department and the community for both his sense of humor and sense of compassion."
Trooper O'Connell, a 16-year agency veteran, had been assigned to the Marysville district headquarters. He leaves behind a wife, 7-year-old son, and 5-year-old daughter.