Volusia County, FL – Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) Senior Deputy Frank Scofield was killed on Sunday morning as he was out riding his bike in preparation for a 9/11 memorial ride in New York.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said that the off-duty deputy was bicycling northbound on County Road 415 with a retired Daytona Beach police officer when a van slammed into him from behind, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“The driver was doing 40 mph and went through the stop sign and hit Frank from behind,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said during an emotional press conference on Sunday afternoon.
Deputy Scofield, 58, was airlifted to Halifax Health Medical Center, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
He suffered massive head injuries in the crash, and died in the operating room at 10:30 a.m., the sheriff said.
“The impact was so incredible that it broke his bike in two and ripped his seat post off,” Sheriff Chitwood explained.
“He died doing what he loved,” the sheriff added. “He was passionate about doing the right thing and making a difference in this community – he was just one of a kind.”
The driver of the van, 75-year-old Lajos Toth, was not injured in the crash.
The investigation into the deadly collision is ongoing, but charges are pending against Toth, the FHP said.
Deputy Scofield, a Navy veteran, began his career at the VCSO in 1995, according to Sheriff Chitwood.
Recognized as one of the department’s most “highly-decorated deputies,” Deputy Scofield was a member of the agency’s SWAT team, marine unit, dive team, and also served as a firearms instructor, the sheriff said.
He was a man who “personified bravery,” but he was also compassionate, he explained.
“When he shook your hand with those big hands of his, you knew he was your friend,” Sheriff Chitwood told reporters. “On the flip side of it, if you were breaking the law, you would also know he’s not the kind of guy you would want to come after you because he would come after you with everything that he had.”
During his 24 years of service, Deputy Scofield “became a legendary, widely respected veteran member” of the VCSO Marine Unit, the department said in a Facebook post.
“The pride and joy of his life was being a marine deputy. He loved being out in the water,” Sheriff Chitwood noted. “He loved his boat and he loved nothing more than when I would ask him to take someone out on a ride-along.”
The longtime deputy’s death is not only a huge loss for VCSO, but also for the community, the sheriff said.
Deputy Scofield leaves behind his wife of 33 years, Susan, as well as his son and daughter.
“Our hearts are with the family and friends of Senior Deputy Scofield,” the VCSO’s post read. “Please join us in saying a prayer for them today and honoring the memory of a great deputy and a great man.”
Deputy Scofield will be laid to rest on Thursday, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Frank Scofield, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.