A man accused of fleeing a traffic stop on a Florida interstate faces multiple homicide charges after a state trooper and semi-truck driver were killed during the ensuing pursuit, authorities said.
Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Zachary Fink, 26, was trying to apprehend a fleeing felon who was driving recklessly in St. Lucie County early Friday. The suspect refused to stop and led Fink on a pursuit, authorities said at a news conference Friday.
The suspect then made an abrupt turn and started driving in the wrong direction on the interstate, authorities said. Fink also turned around in an effort to apprehend him and warn other drivers, authorities said.
But once Fink turned, he collided with an 18-wheeler semi-truck driver. Both Fink and the truck driver died from their injuries, authorities said.
The suspect eventually crashed his car into a tree and fled the scene on foot, authorities said. A manhunt ensued and the suspect was taken into custody at about 8 a.m. Friday, authorities said.
The suspect — identified as 30-year-old Michael Anthony Addison — was booked into the St. Lucie County Jail on multiple counts of felony homicide, aggravated flee to elude with serious injury or death and driving without a license causing death, among other charges, the Florida Highway Patrol said Saturday.
It is unclear if he has an attorney.
“This tragedy could have been prevented if Michael Addison followed the rule of law and complied with law enforcement,” St. Lucie County Sheriff Keith Pearson said in a statement Saturday. “Thanks to the combined efforts of law enforcement, he will be held accountable for his actions.”
The investigation remains ongoing, authorities said.
Fink, a three-year veteran of the highway patrol, leaves behind his fiancée, father and stepmother, authorities said.
“Trooper Fink is a hero who died while helping people, something he was passionate about since the age of six,” Dave Kerner, executive director of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said.
“After speaking with his family, I can say that Trooper Fink was living his dream as a Florida State trooper when a felon tragically took his life,” added Col. Gary Howze of the Florida Highway Patrol. “As a first responder, sacrifice is not new; it is daily and experienced while living, when missing breakfast with family, or when at work instead of with family. We appreciate Trooper Fink’s sacrifice and know that the people of Florida are safer because of his commitment to keeping them safe.”
ABC News’ Jianna Cousin contributed to this report.