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Memorial Service Honors Troopers
Killed In the Line of Duty

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Corporal Tomlinson
Cleo Tomlinson

American flag1 flying at half-mast

Trooper Pruitt
Robert Pruitt

American flag2 flying at half-mast

Trooper Cook
Merle Cook

Twenty-six years ago on July 13, 1981, Florida Highway Patrol Troopers Corporal Cleo (C.L.) Tomlinson, Robert Pruitt, and Merle Cook were killed when their FHP Cessna aircraft crashed just south of the Ponce Mall in St. Augustine. The three troopers had been providing aerial support for the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office by directing deputies to a burglary suspect who had been targeting the southern St. Augustine area. As a result of the tragedy, the St. Johns County Commission adopted a resolution honoring the memory of the three troopers and declared that July 13th of each year be recognized as Florida Highway Patrol Appreciation Day within St. Johns County.

Colonel Chris Knight speaks at the event.
Colonel Chris Knight speaks to the family, friends and coworkers.


FHP Troopers and St. Johns County Sheriff Deputies
Troopers and Sheriff Deputies attend
to honor the fallen troopers.

Honor Guard.
Honor Guard for this event
included deputies and troopers.

At a recent ceremony on July 13, 2007, St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar officially added the troopers' names to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Plaque that honors all those officers killed in the line-of-duty in St. Johns County.

FHP Troopers added to the Sheriff's Memorial Plaque.
FHP Troopers were added to the Sheriff's Memorial Plaque.

News articles related to the event:

The three troopers honored
From the St. Augustine Record - 7/14/07

Honoring 3 fallen troopers
From the St. Augustine Record - 7/14/07

Suspect linked to many crimes
From the St. Augustine Record - 7/14/07

St. Johns County Honors Troopers Killed In 1981
From the WJXT News - 7/13/07

Sheriff Honors Fallen Troopers
From the First Coast News - 7/13/07

Florida Highway Patrol Troopers Killed In the Line of Duty


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