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Julie Bridges and Joseph Ossman

Two Florida officers die in possible Hurricane Irma-related collision

A Florida deputy and corrections officer have died after crashing into one another in Hardee County on Sunday, as reported by WFLA.

According to The Washington Post, Deputy Julie Bridges (pictured left), 43, was a 13-year veteran with the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office and had completed an overnight shift in an evacuation shelter. The paper says she was heading home to get items for the shelter when the collision occurred. The other person involved in the head-on crash was Seargent Joseph Ossman (pictured right), 53, a 21-year veteran with the Florida Department of Corrections.

NBC2 reports that the deadly incident, which was possibly caused by Hurricane Irma, occurred at the intersection of State Route 66 and Old Trueswald Road at around 6:35 a.m. Sunday. Hardee County Sheriff Arnold Lanier noted that it was “wet, windy, and raining” when Deputy Bridges trekked out to get additional supplies.

WPTV pointed out that the National Weather Service issued a tornado and severe thunderstorm warning in the area.

“Our law enforcement and correctional officers work every day to keep Floridians safe. It is because of their work we are able to live in a state where people can raise their families safely. My heart goes out their families and the entire law enforcement and correctional community,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.

Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Greg Bueno said troopers are still investigating the accident.

Including Sunday’s fatal wreck, CrimeOnline reported that at least four people have died since Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida.

[Featured Image: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office]