ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Florida Highway Patrol says two law enforcement officers died in a car crash while Hurricane Irma's wind and rain started to blow in.
Agency spokesman Greg Bueno said the crash happened Sunday morning in Hardee County, which is southeast of Tampa.
Fox 13 in Tampa reports that it is unclear if the two-vehicle crash was directly storm-related. However, one of the victims, a Hardee County Deputy, was heading home after working at a local hurricane shelter.
Fox 13 reports the deputy has been identified as Julie Ann Bridges, a 13-year veteran with the Hardee County Sheriff's office.
Sgt. Joseph Ossman, an employee with the Hardee County Correctional Institute, also died in the crash. Ossman was reportedly travelling in a marked patrol car when the vehicles collided head-on.
Florida Highway Patrol said they are still investigating the crash.