CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida deputy who was killed while conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 75 had just celebrated his 23rd birthday, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies said Deputy Christopher Taylor was fatally struck by 30-year-old Cassandra Smith after she lost control of her Jeep and veered across three lanes, striking Taylor’s patrol car which hit him.

(Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office)

The sheriff’s office said good Samaritans and deputies tried to save Taylor’s life but he later died at a hospital.

Smith was taken into custody by the Florida Highway Patrol and taken to the Charlotte County Jail on DUI manslaughter charges, deputies said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Taylor joined the agency in August 2021 and was sworn in on Feb. 14. He is survived by his parents and fiancé.

“In his little less than a year of service to Charlotte County, Chris exemplified the core values of the CCSO; Integrity, Professionalism, and Trust. Chris just celebrated his 23rd birthday on Saturday. Losing a deputy is unspeakably difficult for the agency, but the passing of such a promising and kind young man is a tremendous loss for the world,” said Sheriff Bill Prummell.

The Florida Highway Patrol will continue to investigate the crash.

“Please keep the family and friends of Deputy Taylor in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of our brother. His kindness, dedication, and service to his community will never be forgotten,” the sheriff’s office said.