Motorcade escorts fallen trooper's body to Everett


MOUNT VERNON, Wash. - A motorcade escorted the body of a trooper who died in a crash with a box truck in Conway to a funeral home in Everett Sunday.

WSP Chief John Batiste said that Trooper Sean O'Connell was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, where he was later pronounced dead.

The collision happened shortly before 5 p.m. Friday.

The motorcade carrying O'Connell's body started around 11:20 a.m. Sunday from Skagit Valley Hospital.  It ended at the Solie Funeral Home at 3301 Colby Avenue in Everett. 

See raw video of the motorcade as seen from DOT cams here

Firefighters and citizens lined overpasses to pay their respects as the motorcade traveled Interstate 5.

See photos of the motorcade here

As many as 150 police cruisers participated.

O'Connell was a 16-year veteran of the State Patrol. He leaves behind a wife, a 5-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. 

"He was a family man, talked nothing but his kid and his wife all the time," said Washington State Patrol spokesman Keith Leary.

The agency said the truck driver is from Mount Vernon and is cooperating with the investigation. Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be involved.

Saturday, Leary could not say O'Connell, a 16-veteran trooper, collided with the box truck.

"I don't know a lot of the specifics," Leary said. "Detectives will release a lot of the information later, after we put the pieces together, and we get more of a finite conclusion as to what happened, who was where, and going which direction, and things like that."

Late Friday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement. It read in part:

"We call the men and women who wear a law enforcement badge 'our finest' because they represent our finest attributes and values: compassion, justice and self-sacrifice.

"I've heard tonight that Trooper O'Connell embodied all of these attributes. His fellow troopers say he also had a wonderful sense of humor that was admired by all who met him.

"We must remember that our troopers are also husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers.

"Trooper O'Connell's wife, his son and daughter, his friends and fellow officers are grieving.

Trudi and I grieve with them, and honor his family's sacrifice during this extremely difficult time."

WSP asked people who saw the collision or have any information about it to call Detective Sgt. Cooper at 360-805-1192.

Members of the public wishing to leave flowers or other memorabilia in honor of Trooper O’Connell may do so at the WSP District Headquarters, 2700 116th St. NE, Marysville. 

Those who wish to donate funds to the troopers wife and children can do so by sending a check to:

Washington State Patrol Memorial Foundation
PO Box 7544
Olympia, WA 98507

In Memory of Trooper Sean O’Connell can be written in the check's memo line.