Governor Scott Calls Death of FHP Trooper a Terrible Loss

Master Sergeant William Bishop. (Courtesy Florida Highway Patrol)

The Florida Highway Patrol says final funeral arrangements are still being made for Master Sergeant William Bishop. Bishop was killed in the line of duty Saturday night while working an accident on I-75 southbound at mile marker 403 in northern Alachua County.

In a statement, Florida Governor Rick Scott said he was “heartbroken” to learn of the death of Bishop, a 30 year veteran of the agency who was 52 years old. Scott’s statement:

We are heartbroken to learn of the death of 30-year veteran FHP Trooper Sergeant William Trampas Bishop while on duty in Alachua County. Ann and I are praying for Sergeant Bishop’s family and loved ones during this very difficult time. Our thoughts are also with the entire Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Florida Highway Patrol family as they grieve the loss of Sergeant Bishop. Every day, Florida’s law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve Florida families. This terrible loss is a somber reminder of the work our brave law enforcement officers do to keep us safe.”

According to the official Highway Patrol accident report, Bishop was working an accident in the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 about 6:36pm Saturday near the High Springs exit. That car, a Chevrolet Malibu driven by 22 year old Steven Catanach of Miami, was parked southbound on the inside emergency lane.

While Bishop was attending that scene, two other cars approached. A Ford Fusion driven by 46 year old Michael Korta of Tampa, and followed by a Cadillac STS driven by 67 year old John Sams of Lady Lake were in the center lane. For some reason they collided, and in the collision Sergeant Bishop was hit. He was taken to UF Health/Shands Hospital in Gainesville where he was pronounced dead.

In a joint statement released Saturday night after Bishop’s death, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry Rhodes and FHP Director Colonel Gene Spaulding said like all troopers, Bishop was putting the well-being of those he serves above his own to keep Florida roadways safe.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we report Sergeant William Trampass Bishop, a member of the Florida Highway Patrol, has succumbed to injuries he sustained while on duty in Alachua County this evening. Sergeant Bishop was a 30 year veteran FHP Trooper, who, like all troopers, put the well-being of those he serves above his own to keep Florida roadways safe. Every member at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is grieving with Sgt. Bishop’s family during this horrific time.

Sergeant Bishop was struck on Interstate 75 southbound while he was outside of his patrol car. This is a tragedy that highlights the risks that FHP troopers encounter every day as they serve our state.

We appreciate all of the support FHP has received and continues to receive. Please keep Sergeant Bishop’s wife and son and all members of the Florida Highway Patrol in your thoughts and prayers.

Bishop leaves a wife and son.

About Forrest Smith

Forrest is a radio news manager for WUFT News. Reach him by emailing or calling 352-392-6397.

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