High-speed chase ends in tragedy as Florida Highway Patrol trooper and semi-truck driver killed

Port St. Lucie, Florida – A tragic high-speed chase on Friday morning resulted in a fatal collision between a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Trooper and a semi-truck, leaving both individuals dead. The trooper was identified as Zachary Fink, 26, who lost his life in the pursuit of a fleeing felon in the city. The incident took place near the Christ Fellowship Church in Port St. Lucie.

During a press conference held at the church, officials revealed that the fleeing felon attempted to make a U-turn, prompting Trooper Fink to do the same in pursuit. Unfortunately, this maneuver led to the fatal collision involving the trooper and the semi-truck driver. Dave Kerner, FHP executive director, praised Fink’s bravery and dedication to serving the community, stating that Fink had always aspired to help others from a young age.

Following the collision, another individual driving a white Kia crashed into a tree at a location close to the scene of the incident. The driver fled the scene, leading to a multi-agency manhunt in the Castle Pines neighborhood. The search involved various law enforcement agencies utilizing drones, K-9 units, and a helicopter to track down the suspect.

Amidst the tragedy, a procession was held to honor Fink, with his body draped in an American flag being escorted from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office. The sacrifice made by Fink and his commitment to serving the community were highlighted by FHP Colonel Gary L. Howze II during the press conference, emphasizing the loss of life as the true sacrifice in such situations.

The devastating news of Fink’s death resonated throughout the state, prompting responses from political leaders such as Senator Rick Scott and Governor Ron DeSantis, who offered their condolences and support to the Fink family and the FHP community. The proximity of the incident to the St. Lucie County School District Headquarters raised concerns, although schools remained open with delayed bus routes as a precautionary measure.

As investigations into the crash continued, authorities advised the public to avoid the area surrounding the crash site, with all lanes on I-95 closed in both directions. The collaborative efforts of FHP, along with other law enforcement agencies such as the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and the Port St. Lucie Police Department, underscored the dangers faced by those in uniform on a daily basis.

Fink’s untimely death serves as a poignant reminder of the risks associated with law enforcement, echoing a similar tragedy involving Trooper Joseph Bullock in 2020. The solemnity of the situation highlights the courage and selflessness exhibited by FHP troopers in the line of duty, as they continue to uphold their commitment to public safety despite the inherent dangers they face.