POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 22-year-old Polk County Sheriff’s Detention Deputy died in an off-duty accident in Lake County Wednesday, according to authorities.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that Detention Deputy Drake Sawyer Perry, 22, of Ocoee, died in a vehicle crash while off-duty on Feb. 22, 2023, on State Road 33 south of Groveland.

Deputies said Perry began his career with the sheriff’s office in September 2022 after he was sworn in during an oath of office ceremony on Dec. 13, 2022 as a dual-certified detention and law enforcement deputy.

Perry was assigned to the South County Jail in Frostproof.

Perry graduated from Olympia High School in Orlando. He then attended the Polk State College Kenneth C. Thompson Institute for Public Safety (KCTIPS) in Winter Haven and was sponsored in the academy by PCSO in the dual enrollment class.

The sheriff’s office said Perry was the class commander for both academies, and recognized as a “Top Gun,” being the most proficient shooter in his class.

“We are all grieving at the loss of this young deputy who was just starting out in his career,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Deputy Perry was an outstanding cadet in the academy, and his classmates and coworkers remember him as always smiling, always positive, and a team player who was always helping others. He was a natural-born leader, and aspired to be on the SWAT team. He will be greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers.”

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the traffic crash. Additional information regarding funeral arrangements for Deputy Perry are expected to be announced at a later date.

Perry is survived by his father, brother, and grandmother.