A leader and a mentor: What we know about Trooper Tracy Vickers

31-year-old Navy veteran killed in State Road 408 crash

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Tracy Vickers is being remembered as a rising star in his agency who was proud and passionate about his career, despite its dangers.

Vickers was killed Friday morning in a crash on State Road 408.

As FHP officials investigate the circumstances of the crash, they want the public to know that Vickers was a leader and a mentor who will never be forgotten.

Col. Gene Spaulding said Vickers, 31, worked for the FHP for a little more than four years. He graduated from the 131st recruit class on Sept. 30, 2015, and was assigned to the midnight shift on Florida's Turnpike. Before that, he served in the Navy.

Vickers was on his way home at the time of the fatal crash. His fiancee was devastated when she heard what happened. 

"We're all heartbroken by this tragic loss," Spaulding said.

Although Vickers was relatively new to the FHP, he had the skills necessary to serve as a field training officer. In that role, he took rookies under his wing to help teach and prepare them for all that lies ahead.

He was also a member of the agency's quick response force, which is activated during hurricanes and other large-scale events.

"For many of you, you don't know the challenges of being a QRF member, but when Hurricane Michael hit and these guys had to pack up and be prepared to be gone for six weeks, living, sometimes in very, very poor conditions with no electricity and no running water – that was the guy he was. He did it willingly, he did it passionately, and he did a phenomenal job for us," Spaulding said.

A crash closes SR 408 in Orlando.

He did all that and more without a complaint.

"He was a trooper's trooper … He was passionate about the patrol, he took care of his own partners. He did what was needed," Spaulding said. "He will truly be missed."

Now FHP officials said the focus is on making sure Vickers is remembered for all he did and for paying the ultimate sacrifice. Funeral arrangements should be announced within the coming days.

"We're here to serve him now," Spaulding said.