From the Florida Highway Patrol
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) will hold a ceremony on Friday, November 20, 2020, at 1pm designating three east coast roadways to be named in remembrance of three fallen FHP Troopers.
Patrolman Leroy C. Bender – Sanford
Patrolman Bender served the residents of Florida from February 1944, until his death on October 25, 1947. Patrolman Bender was investigating a traffic crash in Sanford, when a passing car struck and killed him. Patrolman Bender was 44 years old, at the time of his death. The person driving the car later surrendered at the sheriff’s office. Patrolman Bender’s career with FHP began February 15, 1944. He went to recruit school April 9 to April 21, 1945. He was stationed in Ocala and Sanford. He was survived by his wife, Mae. W. 1st Street, between French Avenue and S. Mellonville Avenue will be dedicated in remembrance of Patrolman Bender.
Trooper Halley C. Strickland – Titusville
Trooper Strickland served the residents of Florida for seven years. His career began in August 1946, as he attended the 6th recruit class in Kissimmee. He was stationed in Deland and Cocoa. On January 8, 1954, Trooper Strickland was killed while pursuing a fleeing violator and turned to avoid another vehicle. His patrol car struck a tree. Trooper Strickland was 33 years old at the time of his death. US-1, between E. Main Street and Parrish Bay Road, will be dedicated in remembrance of Trooper Strickland.
Trooper Joseph N. Sawtell, Jr. – Melbourne
Trooper Sawtell Jr. served the residents of Florida for just four months. He began his career in May 1966 by attending the 29th recruit class, in Tallahassee. On August 5, 1966, Trooper Sawtell, Jr. was on patrol in Melbourne and was killed when a car ran a stop sign and struck his patrol car. He was 23 years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his parents, Joseph, Sr. and Margaret. Babcock Street, between Malabar Road and Palm Bay Road, will be dedicated to Trooper Sawtell, Jr.
The ceremony will be held at the Florida Highway Patrol Office located at 3775 West King Street in Cocoa.