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Troopers escort fallen colleague's kids on first day

Posted by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM
  • 14 Replies
2 moms liked this

Tear jerker!


Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 5:49 p.m.
  • Washington State Patrol motorcycle troopers provide an escort for Trooper Sean O'Connell's children on the first day of school Wednesday. O'Connell di...

    Photo courtesy of O'Connell family

    Washington State Patrol motorcycle troopers provide an escort for Trooper Sean O'Connell's children on the first day of school Wednesday. O'Connell died May 31 in an on-duty collision.

LAKE STEVENS -- Five Washington State Patrol troopers followed on motorcycles as the big yellow bus chugged along Lake Stevens' streets.


Sean O'Connell wasn't there on Wednesday, the first day of school, to see his daughter begin kindergarten and his son start second grade. So his buddies did it for him.


O'Connell, 38, died May 31 in an on-duty motorcycle crash. He had been a trooper for 16 years. The day he died, he was working traffic control related to the Skagit River bridge collapse.


O'Connell adored his children. They were his joy. At the trooper's memorial service in June, 2,200 people saw a slideshow showing O'Connell holding his children, smiling, making goofy faces -- photo after photo, each full of a father's love.


"It was Sean I looked to for finding strength and being a good dad," his older brother Fran O'Connell told the crowd.


Knowing their friend wouldn't have missed the first day of school, O'Connell's fellow motorcycle troopers stepped in, riding behind the bus to school. They walked the kids to class. O'Connell's wife snapped pictures, making new memories for a different life.


The troopers also stopped to take pictures with other children at the school.


"Sean was so much a part of that school," Snohomish County Executive John Lovick said. "Sean would be so very, very proud."


Lovick, a retired state trooper, was O'Connell's sergeant for six years. He thought of the trooper as a son.


"That's the State Patrol. That's the family Sean had. That's the family that continues on," Lovick said.


by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
.OceanBlue.
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Oh, wow.  Tears.

romalove
by Roma on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:48 AM
1 mom liked this

Thanks for posting.  It made me cry.  

lizzielouaf
by Gold Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:50 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh boy...this is a tear jerker.

Della529
by Matlock on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM
1 mom liked this

 Maybe I can read this later, but after having attended a funeral yesterday for a favorite uncle, I just can't do it right now.

Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

It is quite sad.  I remember the day the accident happened.  I was approaching an intersection where this trooper was on his bike leaving to direct traffic at a different intersection. 

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

-love-

Peanutx3
by Ruby Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Hugs to you Della. 

Quoting Della529:

 Maybe I can read this later, but after having attended a funeral yesterday for a favorite uncle, I just can't do it right now.



pamelax3
by Gold Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM

WoW! That made me tear up

Liz_Rocket
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM
That's so very sweet, and so very sad. It made my heart hurt.
OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM
That just breaks my heart....
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