Maine deputy struck, killed by motorist while responding to call

Deputy Luke Gross was an 18-year veteran of the sheriff's department

Duty Death: Luke Gross - [Hancock County, Maine]

End of Service: 09/23/2021

By Eric Russell
Portland Press Herald, Maine

HANCOCK COUNTY, Maine — A Hancock County Sheriff deputy died early Thursday morning after he was struck and killed by a motorist on Route 3 in Trenton, just south of Ellsworth.

According to a press release from the sheriff's department, Deputy Luke Gross responded to a call of a vehicle that had gone off the road shortly before 4 a.m. While at the scene and out of his police vehicle, Gross was struck by another vehicle. He did not survive his injuries.

"The family is appreciative of all of your thoughts and prayers as they deal with this tragedy," the release said. "We ask that you please honor their request and give them the space needed to grieve."

Gross was a veteran of 18 years with the sheriff's department. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

No other information was available late Thursday morning, but officials scheduled a press conference for 3 p.m.

Gross is the 88th police officer to die in the line of duty in Maine's history, according to Shannon Moss, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety. The most recent death was Detective Benjamin Campbell of the Maine State Police, who died in a freak accident on Interstate 95 in Hampden in 2019 when he was struck by a wheel that came loose from a logging truck. He was 31.

"The Maine State Police extends our deepest condolences to the Gross family and our friends and colleagues at the Hancock County Sheriff's Office," Col. John Cote said in a statement. "We have worked closely with Sheriff's personnel this morning and will continue to provide any and all resources to assist them in the days and weeks ahead as they navigate this difficult time. Maine's law enforcement family is connected through our common mission, and the loss of any member, regardless of agency, deeply impacts all of us."

Gov. Janet Mills released a statement of condolences and said she will direct U.S. and Maine flags to be lowered to half-staff on the day of Gross' funeral service.

"Today, we mourn the loss of Deputy Gross, a member of Maine's law enforcement community killed in the line of duty," Mills said. "My heart goes out to his friends, family, and fellow officers. May we always remember that our law enforcement officers are dedicated public servants who risk their own lives every day to protect the safety of Maine people.

"Deputy Gross ended his watch protecting our great state, and his service and sacrifice will not be forgotten. On behalf of the people of Maine, I extend our condolences to his family, loved ones, and colleagues around the state."

Tributes also began flooding social media from other police agencies around the state. Many also had members participate in a procession as Gross' body was brought from Hancock County to the state medical examiner's office in Augusta.

This story will be updated.

(c)2021 the Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service


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