TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The body of Deputy Michael Hartwick was escorted to the Pinellas County Medical Examiner’s Office Friday morning by the sheriff’s office.
Dozens of officers lined up outside the office to salute Hartwick as his body was taken inside.
Hartwick died late Thursday night after he was struck by a worker in a construction zone.
Authorities said Victor Vasquez was allegedly operating a front end loader with a forklift when he hit the deputy. He allegedly continued driving for about a quarter of a mile, stopped and left his uniform with another worker, then fled the scene on foot.
He was taken into custody Friday morning and faces a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, a second-degree felony.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Hartwick had worked for the sheriff’s office for 19 years. He was assigned to the patrol division, and worked the night shift for the North District Station.
He is survived by his mother and adult children, according to the sheriff.