Widow of Fla. Officer Killed in Motorcade Sues

May 28, 2014
Jupiter Officer Bruce St. Laurent was struck and killed during a visit by the president on Sept. 9, 2012.

A lawsuit has been filed by the widow of a Jupiter motorcycle officer who was struck and killed while keeping traffic off Interstate 95 during a 2012 visit by President Barack Obama.

In the lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the widow of Bruce St. Laurent blames the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for her husband's death.

St. Laurent "was acting under his authority and desire to protect the president of the United States," according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Michael Overbeck.

Brenda St. Laurent is seeking an unspecified amount for herself, the couple's daughter and grandson.

Had the agency devised a clear plan for the motorcade, St. Laurent wouldn't have been struck by a vehicle driven by Susan Holloway, according to the suit.

St. Laurent was hit when he was trying to prevent traffic, including Holloway's vehicle, from getting on I-95 at 45th Street.

According to a 2012 Florida Highway Patrol report, St. Laurent was traveling south on I-95 with his emergency lights activated when he approached the 45th Street entrance ramp. He crossed three lanes, then drove across the triangular area that separates merging roads at the entrance ramp, then onto the ramp to stop traffic from entering the highway and mixing with the motorcade.

The report said St. Laurent rode his police motorcycle into the path of Holloway's Ford F-150 at an estimated speed of 5 mph. Holloway, who was heading south on I-95's entrance ramp from 45th Street, had an estimated speed of 60 mph.

Holloway's truck left skid marks, investigators found, before striking the motorcycle's right side. Holloway was cleared of wrongdoing.

In an email sent to The Palm Beach Post after the crash, Holloway's husband, Marion, said the couple were experiencing "profound sadness" over the "tragic accident." The email described Susan Holloway as "heartbroken beyond words."

"We know that nothing we say or do will change the facts, however, we feel compelled to communicate our condolences."

The message, directed at those who knew and loved St. Laurent, ended by saying that "we are so very sorry for your loss and feel a sense of intense grief we can not describe."

Sheriff's officials weren't available for comment Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 - The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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