Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Hartwick was struck and killed by a construction vehicle on Sept. 22 in a hit-and-run crash along I-275 in St. Petersburg.
Hartwick, a 19-year veteran of the agency, was working a security shift at a construction site near the Howard Frankland Bridge, when he was struck by a front-end loader operated by a worker.
According to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, after the crash, the worker drove to a parking area. After parking the front-end loader, he handed his helmet and safety vest to another worker, said he had “killed a deputy,” and subsequently left the scene. A search ensued, and the worker was taken into custody at 8:40am Friday morning.
“Struck By” Crashes are a Leading Cause of Law Enforcement Officer Deaths
Besides homicides, motor vehicle-related incidents kill more law enforcement personnel than any other type of incident. From 2011-2020, 286 officer line-of-duty deaths came as the result of vehicle crashes (21% of total fatalities). 114 of these deaths were the result of being struck by a vehicle (8% of total).
Wrongful Death Claim Possible
Because the hit-and-run driver has been identified, the family of Deputy Michael Hartwick may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim pending an investigation.
Families of victims killed in hit-and-run accidents often seek a personal injury/wrongful death claim to cover the costs of funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. If you need help with such a claim, our experienced attorneys can speak with you about your options.
Notice: As a personal injury law firm, we frequently provide analysis and opinion on news stories in the hope that the family and friends of the victims may gain some valuable insight into our theories of negligence surrounding the available facts. Respectfully, our hearts and thoughts are with those who have suffered a catastrophic injury or death.
If you would like a free, confidential consultation about an incident, please check our website, or contact us today at 561-222-2222.