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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --
A veteran police officer was killed early Thursday when his cruiser hit a construction truck parked on state Road 9A near Gate Parkway.
Sheriff John Rutherford identified the officer as Christopher Kane, 38. The 12-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is survived by a wife and two children.
The FHP said the officer's cruiser hit a flatbed tractor-trailer parked in a construction zone just before 3 a.m.
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Leeper said it could be that Kane did not see the truck. Leeper said it was hit with such a strong force that Kane was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said Kane was on his way home after his shift and had was leaving the construction site after stopping to talk to some officers working a roadblock.
"He was very active in his community, a Pop Warner coach; just a great guy," Rutherford said.
The FHP said Kane was wearing a seat belt.
The FHP kept 9A closed in the area for a few hours while the wreck was investigated and cleared.
Channel 4 is learning more about the wreck and and officer. There'll be complete reports throughout the day on the local station.

Story From: news4jax.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Devoted Fla. cop, coach mourned

By Jim Schoettler
The Times-Union

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Coach Christopher Kane's hulking presence and inspirational words will be missed on area gridirons Saturdays and practice times at the Orange Park Athletic Association.
The decorated police veteran will also be missed on the streets of Jacksonville by the people he passionately protected and the colleagues who cherished his friendship. And the loving husband and father of two will be missed at home.
Kane, 38, died instantly Thursday in a puzzling predawn traffic accident on the Southside when his police car struck the right rear corner of a tractor-trailer parked in a construction zone, Lt. Bill Leeper of the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The wreck occurred on southbound Florida 9A about 3 a.m., just after Kane finished work and was headed home. Kane stopped to talk with an off-duty officer just north of the Gate Parkway overpass. He then drove at least 300 yards south, going over the overpass before hitting the flatbed, police said. The truck, which was carrying construction equipment, was parked in the left travel lane on a slight decline.
The area was closed to motorists for the erection of overhead signs.
Leeper said Kane may not have seen the flatbed, which had its parking lights on. The patrol car left no skid marks. The investigation is continuing, including efforts to determine Kane's speed. Police believe he was wearing a seat belt.
A decorated officer
Kane, a former Marine, joined the Sheriff's Office 12 years ago. He received the agency's Lifesaving Award in 2003 for helping to save an officer who was severely injured in a personal watercraft accident. His personnel file also includes about a dozen commendations and several letters of appreciation from residents.
Officer Ken Jefferson, an agency spokesman, first met Kane as a rookie when he was in Jefferson's report-writing class and they remained friends. Jefferson said Kane was a passionate public servant.
"You can't find anybody who was as dedicated, hardworking and had one of the biggest hearts for one individual than Chris Kane," Jefferson said.
Two other Jacksonville police officers have died in traffic accidents in the past year. Michael "Brandt" Hartsfield, 50, died in late July after a wreck in his girlfriend's vehicle. Scott Eric Bell, 50, died in October when a van collided with his squad car.
A hardworking football coach
Kane was an assistant coach of a championship Pop Warner football team from the Orange Park Athletic Association. The Junior Pee Wee Cyclones were last year's Southeast champions and finished third in the 2007 National Championship tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports, said Todd Sutter, the association's football commissioner.
Kane coached his son, Michael, on the team. Now 11- and 12-year-olds, the Cyclones are scheduled to begin the season Saturday in St. Augustine.
Sutter praised Kane as a loving father, a proud and dedicated coach and good man. He also was a rabid Florida Gators football fan and loved to fish.
"Chris would do anything for any of the kids. That's how he was," Sutter said. "He'd help pick up kids. He'd help take kids here and there. He'd take some kids for meals after games if they couldn't afford it."
Kirk Luman, co-head coach of the youth football team, said coaches planned to console players and parents at the team's field Thursday night. Luman said he expects the loss will become even more evident at the team's first game and then the following practice on their home field.
"It'll be like a chunk of us is missing," Luman said.

Wire Service
 
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