Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

June 6, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Trooper remembered as ‘nicest man on earth’ at Everett memorial service

A Washington State Trooper pauses to look at a picture of fellow Trooper Sean O'Connell, Thursday, before O'Connell's Memorial Service in Everett. O'Connell was on motor patrol, but this is not his motorcycle, which was too damaged to use for the service according to another trooper.

A Washington State Trooper pauses to look at a picture of fellow Trooper Sean O’Connell, Thursday, before O’Connell’s Memorial Service in Everett. O’Connell was on motor patrol, but this is not his motorcycle, which was too damaged to use for the service, according to another trooper. (Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

EVERETT —   There was a certain repetition in the words of  those who paid tribute this afternoon to Trooper Sean O’Connell at his memorial service.

The Washington State Patrol motorcycle officer, who was killed in an on-duty traffic collisionon Friday, was universally remembered as a devoted family man who was dedicated to his job, bore a contagious smile and cared about everyone with whom he interacted.

But perhaps it was Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, who had been O’Connell’s supervisor at the State Patrol for six years, who summed it up most succinctly when he addressed the trooper’s children.

“Your dad was the nicest man to ever walk the face of this earth,” Lovick said to O’Connell’s 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, who were seated in the front row with their mother, Alissa, at  Everett’s Comcast Arena.  “He was so proud of you and he loved you so much.”

The two-plus hour memorial service was preceded by a 500-car motorcade and drew close to 2,000 law enforcement officers from the U.S. and Canada and others to the Comcast Arena in Everett.

O’Connell, 38, of Lake Stevens, was patrolling backed-up traffic on a detour around the collapsed Skagit River Bridge over Interstate 5 when he was thrown from his motorcycle in a collision with a box truck and pronounced dead at Skagit Valley Hospital.

The circumstances of the collision, which occurred near Fir Island Road and Greenfield Street, are still under investigation. Fir Island Road had increased traffic because of detours after the May 23 collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River. Some lawmakers have suggested naming the rebuilt span in honor of O’Connell.

 

Comments | More in The Blotter, Traffic & Transit

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►