By Bill DiPaolo, Sonja Isger and Julius Whigham II, The Palm Beach Post
WEST PALM BEACH â€” The Jupiter police department has been at work overnight to pay proper tribute to officer Bruce St. Laurent, a 20-year veteran of the force who was killed Sunday when his motorcycle was struck during President Barack Obamaâ€™s motorcade.
They have begun with a web page in the memory of the man who was known by fellow officers for his generosity and recognized in the community as the man who often played Santa Claus for the local Head Start program.
â€œWe didnâ€™t lose a co-worker. We lost a friend,â€ said Sgt. Scott Pascarella, Jupiter police spokesman, who trained St. Laurent when he was a new officer. â€œHe would do anything for anyone.â€
The crash that took the 55-year-old father of four happened about 4:40 p.m. on the southbound entrance ramp at 45th Street to Interstate 95. St. Laurent was on his motorcycle as part of the motorcade when he was struck by a white Ford F-150 pickup.
St. Laurent was taken to St. Maryâ€™s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, said Teri Barbera, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriffâ€™s Office.
An emotional Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow declined comment.
â€œIâ€™m so overwhelmed right now,â€ Kitzerow said. â€œOur first priority is notifying (St. Laurentâ€™s) family.â€
The driver of the truck also was not immediately identified. The sheriffâ€™s office and the Florida Highway Patrol are investigating the crash.
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