Trooper Sean O'Connell, 38, was a 16-year veteran of the state patrol. He made his home in Snohomish County and was based in Marysville. He leaves behind a wife and two young children, patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said.
O'Connell had been working traffic control in Skagit County when his motorcycle collided with a box truck. He succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital.
"Did I say we lost a great trooper? We lost a great human being," Patrol Chief John R. Batiste said at a news conference.
O'Connell was known for the joy he took in the job and his sense of humor, Calkins said. "Sean was a funny, funny man," he said.
Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick on Saturday mourned O'Connell's death.
Prior to becoming sheriff five years ago, Lovick was a trooper for 31 years, retiring as sergeant. O'Connell was among the people Lovick supervised.
The sheriff said he considered O'Connell not only a colleague and friend, but also the law enforcement equivalent of a son.
Lovick said that in the days ahead, people will hear many good things about O'Connell. "Everything you are going to hear is true," he said.
The community has lost "a tremendous young man and we are going to miss him a lot," Lovick said.
The Washington State Patrol is asking for witnesses to the fatal accident to contact them. Anyone who saw the accident or heard anything may call the Major Accident Investigation team at 360-805-1192 or 360-805-1194.
A memorial site has been set up at the Washington State Patrol's Marysville office, 2700 116th St. NE for anyone wishing to leave flowers in O'Connell's memory.
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