Hero Down: Marco Island Police Lt. Clayton Smith Dies In Scooter Crash
Marco Island, FL – Marco Island Police Department (MIPD) Lieutenant Clayton Smith died in a two-vehicle collision on Wednesday night.
The incident occurred at approximately 6:15 p.m., as Lt. Smith was riding a scooter westbound on San Marco Road, WBBH reported.
As the off-duty lieutenant neared Heathwood Drive, an eastbound vehicle being driven by 23-year-old Dale Lowe turned left in front of him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).
Lt. Smith’s scooter slammed into the side of the vehicle.
The 58-year-old lieutenant was rushed to Lee Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Lowe did not suffer any injuries as a result of the crash, WBBH reported.
The investigation into the collision is ongoing, and it is unclear whether or not Lowe will face any charges.
“The Marco Island Police Department sadly regrets to notify the Marco Island Community of the passing of Lieutenant Clayton Smith,” the MIPD said in a Facebook post on Thursday. “Please join the Department in extending its heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Smith, their children, as well as their extended family.”
Prior to his career with the MIPD, Lt. Smith served the Springfield Township Police Department (STPD) Ohio for 25 years, WLWT reported.
"He's a cop's cop. Sharp, sharp, really, really sharp guy. Understood people,” Springfield Township Police Chief Rob Browder told the news outlet. “Could talk to anybody. Never left a situation, no matter how volatile it was.”
Lt. Smith worked for the STPD from 1989 until his retirement in 2014, at which point he relocated to Florida.
During his decades of service in Ohio, Lt. Smith mentored countless new officers.
“He was one of our field training officers, and every single officer that was under his wing has become one of our best police officers,” Chief Browder told WLWT.
Lt. Smith was also a member of the Hamilton County Police Association SWAT team for 15 years during his time with the STPD.
Lt. Smith leaves behind his wife, Lisa, as well as his children, Ryan, Eric, Lauren, Lindsey, Kaitlyn, Clayton, and Zachary, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by four grandchildren.
Lt. Smith will be laid to rest on Monday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Marco Island Police Department Lieutenant Clayton Smith, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.