Yulee, FL – Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agricultural Law Enforcement Officer James McWhorter died in the line of duty on Feb. 12 after he was involved in a two-vehicle crash.
The 31-year-old officer was attempting to cross the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near mile marker 380 at approximately 8:30 p.m., WJXT reported.
He was in a marked patrol unit and collided with a Ford F150 as he pulled out of the median, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).
The pickup crashed into the passenger side of his vehicle, sending both vehicles into the right shoulder, WJXT reported.
Four passengers inside the pickup suffered minor injuries and were transported to the hospital.
Officer McWhorter died from his injuries at the scene, WTSP reported.
He was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the FHP.
“The Florida Department of Agriculture is devastated to learn of the passing of one of our own while on duty last night,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a statement Feb. 13. “Our hearts are with Officer McWhorter’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time. We are so grateful to him for his service to our state, and we owe him and his family a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.”
Officer McWhorter joined the department in January of 2019.
Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement Director Colonel James Wiggins said Officer McWhorter was an “excellent” community servant who was devoted to his family, the public, and his colleagues.
“We will miss him greatly and send our condolences to his family, friends and fellow officers during this difficult time,” Col. Wiggins said in the press release.
Officer McWhorter leaves behind his fiancée and four children.
Our hearts our heavy following the loss of Agricultural Law Enforcement Officer James McWhorter. We are forever indebted to his service to our state. Please join our @FDACS family in keeping his loved ones in our thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. 💙
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) February 13, 2022
In memory of Officer James McWhorter, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. pic.twitter.com/PDR7Fw1Ykw
— Romeoville Police (@Romeoville_PD) February 15, 2022
Bradenton PD mourns the loss of Officer James McWhorter, who was killed yesterday in the line of duty. During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the men and women of the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement. @FDACS pic.twitter.com/gZqAhXZ3px
— Bradenton Police (@BradentonPD) February 14, 2022
"On behalf of the Florida Highway Patrol, we extend our deepest condolences to the FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the loss of Officer James McWhorter. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family during this difficult time." – Colonel Gene Spaulding pic.twitter.com/timn4BYF4n
— FLHSMV (@FLHSMV) February 13, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agricultural Law Enforcement Officer James McWhorter, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.