Deputy Sheriff Julie Bridges and Sergeant Joseph Ossman, of the Florida Department of Corrections, were killed in a vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 66 and Old Crewsville Road, in Zolfo Springs, at approximately 6:45 am.
Both officers had been required to stay in the county despite mandatory evacuations due to Hurricane Irma. Deputy Bridges was picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when her patrol car collided head-on with Sergeant Ossman’s vehicle. Sergeant Ossman was reporting for his shift at the Hardee Correctional Institution, which remained opened despite the evacuation.
Deputy Bridges had served with the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years. She is survived by her 8-year-old son and parents.