Florida trooper called ‘hero’ after dying in crash while chasing suspect

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Florida trooper called ‘hero’ after dying in crash while chasing suspect

The man accused of being involved in the pursuit that left Florida Highway Patrol Zachary Fink dead Friday is now facing 12 counts including a pair of murder charges. Photo courtesy of Governor of Florida's Office

The man accused of being involved in the pursuit that left Florida Highway Patrol Zachary Fink dead Friday is now facing 12 counts including a pair of murder charges. Photo courtesy of Governor of Florida’s Office

Feb. 2 (UPI) — A man accused of being involved in the deadly pursuit that left a Florida Highway Patrol officer dead was charged with 12 counts, including a pair of murder charges, during a court appearance Saturday.

Michael Anthony Addison made a brief appearance court appearance via Zoom in Port St. Lucie, Fla., in connection with Friday’s death of trooper Zachar FInk.

Fink, a three-year-veteran of the force, was killed early Friday morning while attempting to stop a suspect in St. Lucie County when his police vehicle collided with a semi-truck along Interstate 95 at about 3 a.m. EST.

Paramedics attended the scene and transported the 26-year-old to hospital in Fort Pierce, Fla., but he later died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The truck driver, who has not been identified, also died in the collision.

Fink, who was attempting to stop a vehicle being driven the wrong direction on the interstate, attempted a U-turn on the roadway, which led to the trooper’s collision with the truck.

Addison is accused of driving vehicle in question.

“The suspect eventually crashed his vehicle and fled the scene. There was a manhunt. At this time, we do have one suspect in custody,” Interim Executive Director of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Dave Kerner told reporters, while surrounded by law enforcement officers during a news conference Friday in Palm Beach, Fla.

The suspect was taken into custody at 8:06 a.m. EST.

Addison, 30, now faces 12 total charges including two counts of murder of a person; two counts killing a person with a vehicle; two counts of dangerous depraved without premeditation; fleeing and eluding with lights and siren active; driving on a suspended license resulting in death; resisting officer with violence; aggravated fleeing with death.

Two of the charges are linked to previous warrants which it is believed Fink was pursuing Addison for at the time.

Addison, 30, is being held without bail.

“Trooper Fink is a hero. He died in the line of duty,” Kerner told reporters Friday

“Since he was 6 years old, all he’s ever wanted to do was help people.”

Fink became the 53rd Florida State Trooper to die in the line of duty.

Florida Highway Patrol officials said Fink was a graduate of the 146th recruit class, and that he graduated from the FHP academy on December 2020. He was assigned to Troop D, and later transferred to Troop L in Port St. Lucie.

He is survived by his mother, father and a fiancée.

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