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About Us· WSP Fallen Officers

This page is dedicated to our fallen who gave their lives
while serving the citizens of the State of Washington.


In Memory Of . . .

Trooper Sean O’ConnellTrooper Sean O’Connell -- "Trooper Sean" was born Sept. 10, 1974, in West Islip, NY. He attended Pawling High School in Pawling, NY, before moving to Washington. He attended both Olympic College and the University of Phoenix, where he earned an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice.

Sean served in the United States Navy for over four years. During that time he earned numerous awards and commendations, and participated in the liberation of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.

Sean began his career with the Washington State Patrol as a trooper cadet on July 15, 1998. He graduated with the 82nd Trooper Basic Training Class on March 1, 1999, and was assigned to Marysville. On May 1, 2012, he was assigned as a motorcycle officer, remaining in Marysville.

Sean was best known for his sense of humor, employing it with good judgment and knowing when to be serious. Sean also developed a reputation for being able to work effectively with even the most difficult persons that police can encounter. He understood that officers frequently deal with “good people on their bad days,” and was a role model for his colleagues in de-escalating those situations.

On behalf of the O’Connell family, Sean’s brother Fran stated, “We plan to honor Sean’s memory by trying to be more like him. We will answer a calling, love our friends and family, and find humor in the everyday events of life.”

Sean is survived by his wife Alissa, their two children, his parents, siblings, and many extended family members.

Line of Duty Death ― Summary of Events

Sean was killed in the line of duty on May 31, 2013, when his motorcycle collided with a box truck in Skagit County.



Trooper Tony Radulescu

Trooper Tony Radulescu died on February 23, 2012, at the age of 44 from gunshot wounds while conducting a traffic stop in Kitsap County. At the time of his death, Trooper Radulescu had served over 16 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper James SaundersTrooper James Saunders died on October 7, 1999, at the age of 31 from gunshot wounds while conducting a traffic stop in Pasco. At the time of his death, Trooper Saunders had served 8-1/2 years with the Washington State Patrol as a trooper.

Trooper Steven Frink

Trooper Steven Frink died on March 22, 1993, at the age of 39. Trooper Frink was thrown from his motorcycle on an Interstate 90 off-ramp on Mercer Island when an automobile he was pursuing spun out of control. Trooper Frink died from his injuries four days after the collision.

Trooper Raymond Hawn

Trooper Raymond Hawn died on January 17, 1990, at the age of 47 when he was struck by a vehicle while rendering assistance to a motorcyclist who had run out of gas alongside Highway 12 near Grandview. At the time of his death, Trooper Hawn served 21 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Clifford Hansell

Trooper Clifford Hansell was killed July 22, 1987, at the age of 25. His patrol car collided broadside with the front of a semi-truck on North Central Avenue in downtown Kent as he swerved while responding to a collision scene. At the time of his death, Trooper Hansell had served 17 months with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper James Gain


Trooper James Gain
died on March 2, 1987, at the age of 42. He was struck by a semi-truck along Interstate 5 seven miles north of Vancouver while conducting a traffic stop. At the time of his death, Trooper Gain had served 19 years with the Washington State Patrol.

 

Trooper Glenda ThomasTrooper Glenda Thomas died on May 24, 1985, at the age of 29. She was killed while investigating a multi-vehicle collision on the north Seattle freeway. Trooper Thomas was standing between two vehicles at the collision scene when another car rear-ended one of the vehicles involved in the earlier collision, pinning her between two automobiles. At the time of her death, Trooper Thomas had served only 6 months with the Washington State Patrol as a trooper.

Trooper Thomas Hendrickson

Trooper Thomas Hendrickson died on November 17, 1974, at the age of 31. Trooper Hendrickson was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while making a traffic stop on State Route 20 in Mount Vernon. At the time of his death, Trooper Hendrickson had served almost four years with the Washington State Patrol.

Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin


Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin died on August 15, 1974, at the age of 60. He was killed when he was struck by a logging truck trailer while walking toward a second truck at the Home Valley weigh station on Highway 14 seven miles east of Stevenson. At the time of his death, Officer Modlin had served six years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Frank Noble

Trooper Frank Noble died on February 5, 1972, at the age of 42. He was shot during a traffic stop near Toppenish by a furloughed convict who earlier had robbed a convenience store. At the time of his death, Trooper Noble had served 14 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Clarence Johnson


Trooper Clarence Johnson
died on September 8, 1968, at the age of 26. He was killed when he was hit head-on by a pickup that crossed the center line on a curve between Fall City and Carnation. At the time of his death, Trooper Johnson had served 18 months with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Wesley Whittenberg 

Trooper Wesley Whittenberg died on December 29, 1960, at the age of 29. He was struck by a car while investigating an accident on the Stillaguamish River Bridge on U.S. 99 north of Marysville. At the time of his death, Trooper Whittenberg had served 10 years with the Washington State Patrol as a trooper.

Trooper Ernest Eichhorn

Trooper Ernest Eichhorn died on September 16, 1958, at the age of 33. He was killed by a drunk driver while directing traffic in front of the Puyallup Fairgrounds during the Western Washington Fair. At the time of his death, Trooper Eichhorn had served twelve years with the Washington State Patrol as a trooper.

Trooper Gene Bolstad

Trooper Gene Bolstad died on September 3, 1957, at the age of 29 attempting to rescue a teenage boy in the surf at Long Beach. Both were caught in an undertow. At the time of his death, Trooper Bolstad had served 2-1/2 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper John Wright


Trooper John Wright
was commissioned September 10, 1951, in the 16th cadet class. He was assigned to the Spokane Valley detachment. Wright died June 28, 1953, of injuries after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver on East Sprague Avenue at Barker Road in Greenacres, east of Spokane. He was 28 years old.

Trooper Don Campbell Jr.

Trooper Don Campbell Jr. died on December 21, 1951, at the age of 28. Trooper Campbell was struck by a truck while directing traffic around a stalled truck on Pacific Highway near Vancouver. At the time of his death, Trooper Campbell served 6 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Ivan Belka

 

Trooper Ivan Belka died on August 18, 1951, at the age of 38. A vehicle failed to yield to Trooper Belka’s paddy wagon. He died from injuries as a result of this collision which occurred in Spokane. At the time of his death, Trooper Belka served 8-1/2 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Paul Johnson


Trooper Paul Johnson
died on December 12, 1949, at the age of 32. Trooper Johnson died of a gunshot wound to the head after responding to a neighborhood disturbance near Snoqualmie. At the time of his death, Trooper Johnson served 3 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Thomas Hanlin


Trooper Thomas Hanlin
died on May 26, 1945, at the age of 38. He died from injuries sustained 18 months after flipping his paddy wagon on the Mount Baker Highway near Deming. His injuries at first were considered minor bruises. Later diagnosis revealed head injury.

Trooper John Gulden
Trooper John Gulden
died on December 23, 1942, at the age of 43. Trooper Gulden was shot during a traffic stop of a vehicle he pulled over for driving without headlights on the Maryhill Loops Road, 6 miles south of Goldendale.. (He was unaware the vehicle had two teenage suspects inside wanted for robbery and car theft.) At the time of his death, Trooper Gulden served 13 years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Allen Ludden 

Trooper Allen Ludden died on March 15, 1938, at the age of 37. He was fatally injured when he lost control of his motorcycle south of the Seattle city limits at a weigh station on the Seattle-Tacoma highway. At the time of his death, Trooper Ludden had served 18 months with the Washington State Patrol.

Captain Loren Ray


Captain Loren Ray
died on December 16, 1934, at the age of 34. Captain Ray died from injuries sustained in a fall at the County/City building in Seattle. At the time of his death, Captain Ray served 6 years with the Washington State Patrol.

 Trooper William Pautzke


Trooper William Pautzke
died on May 8, 1930, at the age of 28. He died from injuries when he ran his motorcycle into the side of a gravel truck in the Burien area of Seattle en route to an investigation. At the time of his death, Trooper Pautzke served four years with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper H. Douglas Cossman 

Trooper H. Douglas Cossman died on October 9, 1929, at the age of 28. He died from injuries he received in a collision with an automobile and his motorcycle at 46th & Park Avenue in Tacoma. At the time of his death, Trooper Cossman had served only 2 months with the Washington State Patrol as a trooper.

 

Trooper Conrad TolsonTrooper Conrad Tolson died on March 24, 1929, at the age of 39. He died from injuries sustained the previous day in a collision between his motorcycle and an oncoming automobile on the Seattle-Tacoma highway near the Pierce-King County line. Trooper Tolson was southbound on the Seattle-Tacoma highway when an oncoming car veered into his lane. Trooper Tolson’s motorcycle and sidecar collided with the oncoming vehicle.

Trooper Irving ThorsvigTrooper Irving Thorsvig was on his motorcycle August 29, 1926, going westbound on the old Bothell-Seattle highway when he slipped on the brick surface. A handle bar struck him in the chest. At first, it was believed to be a minor chest injury and later a bruised lung, but it developed into a serious lung problem. His mother took him to Los Angeles, but he died October 26, 1926, before reaching a sanitarium. Trooper Thorsvig had served 9 months with the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Vernon Fortin
Trooper Vernon Fortin
died on September 30, 1923, at the age of 25. Trooper Fortin was injured when his motorcycle collided with another patrolman’s motorcycle while they were en route to the Lynden fair for traffic duty. Trooper Fortin died five days later from his injuries. At the time of his death, Trooper Fortin served 18 months with the Washington State Patrol.

 

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