Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
End of Watch: Sunday, July 3, 2011
Deputy John Mecklenburg was killed in an automobile accident in Pasco County while involved in a vehicle pursuit.
Officers from the Brooksville Police Department had started pursuing a vehicle on U.S. Highway 41 at approximately 4:40 am. Deputies joined in the pursuit and attempted a PIT maneuver on the vehicle. The suspect driver was able to regain control of his vehicle and continued to flee. Deputy Mecklenburg continued to pursuit the vehicle into Pasco County. His vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree near the intersection of Painter Road.
His cruiser caught fire upon impact, but other officers in the pursuit were able to extinguish the flames. He was flown to a hospital in Tampa where he succumbed to his injuries. Another deputy was also injured earlier in the pursuit when his vehicle crashed.
The suspect driver of the vehicle was arrested by members of the Florida Highway Patrol a short time later after being pursued through four counties.
Deputy Mecklenburg was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office for two years. He is survived by his wife and two young children.