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Retired Fla. Officer Hurt Escorting Funeral on Motorcycle


A retired police officer providing a motorcycle escort for a funeral was badly injured in an accident Thursday morning on Beach Boulevard.

Police said the motorcycle collided with a car turned in front of him about 11 a.m. in the 4800 block of Beach Boulevard. Jacksonville Fire Rescue reported the rider was transported to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center with critical injuries.

"A motorist traveling in the opposite direction turned in front of the procession, in front of the ... gentleman pulling the funeral," Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Sgt. R.A. Harville said.

The victim's name has not been released, but Channel 4's Elizabeth Cate was told he was an elderly man who retired from the JSO in 1989.

A motorcyclist escorting a funeral procession on Beach Boulevard was seriously injured.

Funderal director Kristopher Diebolt said his heart skipped a beat when he realized one of his escorts was down only a few blocks from Greenlawn Cemetery.

“As I turned into the cemetery and got a couple cars in, I didn’t see him behind me, and I should’ve seen him by then," Diebolt said.

Diebold said that despite his age, the victim is strong. He was moving and struggling to spread before he has transported to the hospital, which he takes as a good sign.

Friends told Cate that he's a hard worker and they are praying for him and his family.

Traffic homicide detectives questioned witnesses and were trying to reconstruct the accident, but had no additional about who pulled in front of the motorcycle or if charges would be filed.

Two westbound lanes of Beach Boulevard were closed by the crash until about 1:30 p.m.

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