The incident occurred about 6:30 AM on State Route 66 near Old Crewsville Road in Zolfo Springs as Deputy Bridges was on her way to get more supplies after working at a Hurricane Irma evacuation center, according to Fox News.
Weather conditions were rapidly deteriorating as Hurricane Irma approached, with rain bands ahead of the storm.
Hardee County Sheriff Arnold Lanier said, “She worked the shelter all night and was going home to retrieve some more items and then go back to the shelter. Deputy Bridges was a 13-year veteran of the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office, and was a member of the Honor Guard, according to the Miami Herald.
Deputy Bridges is survived by her eight-year-old son.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) said that he was “saddened”, and “We honor those working 24/7 to keep us safe.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott said that he was “heartbroken to learn of the loss of these two individuals in a traffic accident today.”
He said, “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.”
The Florida Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation. There were no other occupants in either vehicle.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hardee County Deputy Sheriff Julie Ann Bridges, both blood and blue. Godspeed, ma’am, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.