Hero Down: Lakeland Police Officer Paul Dunn Killed In Motorcycle Wreck
Polk County, FL – Lakeland Police Officer Paul Dunn was killed on his way to work on Thursday when he crashed on his police motorcycle.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the wreck occurred at about 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 9 when Officer Dunn was travelling in the northbound lane of Lakeland Highlands Road, just south of Lake Miriam Drive, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Deputies said that the 50-year-old officer was riding his police department-issued Harley Davidson Police Road King when it appeared he struck and drove over a concrete median that separated north-and-southbound lanes.
The preliminary investigation indicated that Officer Dunn lost control of his motorcycle and crashed, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Officer Dunn was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said investigators were working to determine if another vehicle was involved in the wreck, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
So far no witnesses have come forward that saw the crash happen but the sheriff said they were talking to good Samaritans who stopped to help when they saw the wrecked bike.
Sheriff Judd said one of the good Samaritans was a nurse practitioner who felt a faint pulse on Officer Dunn and began CPR, WTVT reported.
The sheriff said that detectives were working to find any surveillance cameras that may have captured video of what happened.
Officer Dunn had been a member of the Lakeland Police Department since 2013 and worked as a sheriff’s deputy for 12 years before that, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia said that Officer Dunn also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“We have suffered a tragic loss out here this morning,” Chief Garcia told reporters near the crash scene. “It’s a tragic loss for the agency and the community as well. This is a loss of a family member. This was a fine officer who worked for this community every day."
Lakeland police thanked the good Samaritans that stopped to help “a beloved member of our motor unit” after the wreck.
“I would like to give a word of thanks to the citizens who stopped as well as our hospital staff. It’s a tragic loss for the agency and for the community as well,” the chief added.
Officer Dunn is survived by his wife, one daughter, and two sons, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
His wife is a Lakeland police detective, WTVT reported.
Chief Garcia said in a post on the police department’s official Facebook page that both of Officer Dunn’s sons are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lakeland Police Officer Paul Dunn, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.