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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Trooper, wrecker driver, pedestrian killed in I-75 crash

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper, a tow truck driver and a pedestrian were killed Saturday afternoon when they were struck by a pickup as they checked on a crash on the shoulder of Interstate 75 in Marion County.

About 2 p.m., Trooper Chelsea Richard, a nine-year veteran, was investigating a two-car collision on the southbound shoulder of I-75 near mile marker 341 and was talking to the driver of a tow truck, according to FHP. Then, another multivehicle crash occurred and a pickup drove onto the shoulder and struck the cruiser, Richard, the tow truck driver and a pedestrian, George R. Phillips of Ocala.

Richard and the tow truck driver were pronounced dead at the scene.

Phillips, 52, was taken to Ocala Regional Hospital in critical condition and died late Saturday night.

Richard joined the highway patrol on June 20, 2005, and graduated from the 111th Basic Recruit Class on Jan. 12, 2006, according to FHP. She was the mother of a young son. She is the 45 state trooper to die in the line of duty.

Charges are pending.

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