A Washington State Patrol trooper was killed in the line of duty in a collision between his motorcycle and a box-truck on Fir Island Road in Skagit County Friday evening.
Trooper O’Connell had been with the agency for 16 years, was married with a son age seven and a daughter age five.
“We not only lost a great trooper, we lost a great human being,” State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste said. “Sean was known around the department and the community for both his sense of humor and sense of compassion.”
Trooper O’Connell was participating in a traffic control detail in connection with the detour around the Skagit River Bridge collapse.
Details of the fatal collision are under investigation, but it is known that O’Connell had checked the length of a vehicle backup and was returning to a traffic control point when the fatal collision occurred.
Batiste confirmed that the other driver was cooperating completely with the investigation, and that neither drugs nor alcohol are thought to be a factor.
“We have no indication that this is anything other than a tragic accident,” Batiste said.
Memorial services will be developed according to the wishes of Trooper O’Connell’s family, and those arrangements are pending.