House, Rep. Hayes pay tribute to fallen Washington State Patrol trooper

June 10, 2013

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House, Rep. Hayes pay tribute to fallen Washington State Patrol trooper

The Washington House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution Monday honoring the life and service of Washington State Patrol Trooper Sean M. O’Connell Jr. The 16-year veteran of the State Patrol died May 31 from injuries received when a truck collided with his motorcycle while he was directing traffic detours caused by the collapsed highway interstate bridge in Mount Vernon.

House Resolution 4657 recognizes O’Connell “for his exemplary and exceptional service” to the state of Washington.

Rep. Dave Hayes, who serves as a sergeant with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, said that while he briefly crossed paths with O’Connell in law enforcement, the trooper was known for performing his duties professionally with a positive attitude, a smile, and a sense of respect for the community he served.

“In reputation and practice, he emulated the mission, vision and values of the Washington State Patrol,” said Hayes, R-Camano Island. “He served his country in the U.S. Navy and then his community with the Washington State Patrol. He answered the call.”

Hayes read the following poem on the House floor in honor of Trooper O’Connell:

“Today in the sun, I bid him farewell. A man, a hero I never knew well.
Like many before him who answered the call, wearing a badge, he was destined to fall.
Though by choice, a long life and a happy old age, what he had chosen had he written the page.
But the office he chose never promised long life.
Just half of his salary for his child and his wife.
He went without fear into the darkness of night, bringing comfort to some – to most only light.
Easing their pain and calming their fears, he did his duty never asking for cheers.
A husband, a cop, he answered the call. We bid him farewell for he gave his all.”

O’Connell leaves behind a wife of 12 years, Alissa, a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. The family watched from the House Gallery as lawmakers spoke in favor of the resolution.

“Our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities. Although I was only acquainted with Trooper O’Connell, his loss affects all of his brethren in the law enforcement community and it is felt statewide. I am saddened, but also honored, that I could add my name as a sponsor of this resolution,” concluded Hayes.


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Washington State House Republican Communications
455 John L. O’Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
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Washington State House Republican Communications