3 Fla. corrections officers going on fishing trip killed in crash

Captain Anibal Santos, Officer Trent Strate and Officer Vaneicha John Mendez were killed in the crash


By Sarah Calams

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Three corrections officers who were on their way to go fishing were killed in a crash Thursday.

ClickOrlando.com reported that the triple fatal crash, which also seriously injured a 15-year-old girl, happened around 5:30 a.m. Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol said an SUV carrying four people was going north on an interstate when another SUV entered the highway.

The two SUVs collided, but troopers are still investigating the events leading to the crash. The driver, a 40-year-old man, and two passengers, a 28-year-old man and 44-year-old woman, died.

The Florida Department of Corrections confirmed the victims were corrections officers.

"The Florida Department of Corrections is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of three of our own, and together we offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Captain Anibal Santos, Officer Trent Strate and Officer Vaneicha John Mendez," the Florida DOC said in a statement. "Our heartfelt grief is extended to the team at Central Florida Reception Center during this painful and difficult time. The service and memory of these three dedicated public servants will not soon be forgotten, and the Florida Department of Corrections is greatly indebted to their service and the time spent with us."

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