Procession honors fallen Trooper Sean O'Connell


by KING 5 News

Posted on June 3, 2013 at 11:20 AM

A motorcade of officers on Sunday escorted the body of Trooper Sean O'Connell from a Skagit Valley hospital to a funeral home in Everett.

More than 100 patrol cars participated in the procession.

People gathered on freeway overpasses and city streets to pay their respects.

The 38-year-old trooper died Friday in the line of duty in Conway when a truck hit his State Patrol motorcycle.

Felicia Dehon says her husband is one of the firefighters who responded to O'Connell's fatal accident. She and her husband waited to see the procession with their 4 year old son.

"My husband had a hard time," said Dehon. "He has young kids, and Sean had young kids. Just to think about it, it could happen to anybody. It was hard."

Ian and Tia Kennedy are kids of a fellow Washington State Patrol trooper. They knew O'Connell through their father, who they say they worry about all the time.

"I think about it all the time," said 15 year old Tia. "When he doesn't come home. It's kind of sad to think about it but it always goes through my head."

All day Saturday, people stopped by the spot where trooper O'Connell lost his life. People left flowers, and a marquee spelled out the neighborhood's grief.
And a group of fellow officers came to say good-bye to their brother.

"Probably still a little disbelief, a lot of shock,” said Trooper Mark Francis. “I think for me anyway it will hit home when I go to work and when I normally would’ve seen him he won’t be at work."

"We want to show his kids, when they grow up, what type of man he was," said Trooper Keith Leary. "What type of outstanding human being he was, how he contributed to the community, to his neighbors, to his family."

The former Trooper of the Year is survived by his wife, his 7-year-old son, and 5-year-old daughter.

WSP says flowers for Trooper O'Connell can be left at the District Office at 2700 116th NE in Marysville.

A department spokesperson says the family is still working on funeral plans. The investigation into the fatal collision could take months.