Polk County Sheriff’s Office
December 12, 2010 – Sgt. Wesley Richard “Wes” Whitmore, Jr., was fatally injured in the line of duty after an out-of-control Cadillac Escalade struck him and his patrol car in a 7-Eleven convenience store parking lot in Winter Haven.
The crash occurred at about 10:30 am in the east parking lot of the store at Recker Hwy and Spirit Lake Road. An elderly driver of the SUV suffered a medical episode and lost control.
The Escalade first hit a woman outside of her business, next door to 7-Eleven.
Sgt. Whitmore had just stepped out of his patrol car when the crash happened.
The driver of the Escalade and the woman who was hit suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Sgt. Whitmore though, suffered significant injuries and he died at the scene.
Sgt. Whitmore was a 26-year-veteran of the United States Air Force, and retired as a Major before joining the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 1995. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2008.
Sgt Wes Whitmore left behind a wife and adult children. He was 59 years old.