Trooper Robert L. Pruitt

Trooper Robert L. Pruitt

Florida Highway Patrol, Florida

End of Watch Monday, July 13, 1981

Robert L. Pruitt

Trooper Robert Pruitt, Corporal Cleo Tomlinson, and Trooper Merle Cook were killed in an airplane accident while searching for two breaking and entering suspects in St. John's County.

The suspects were charged with three counts of homicide in connection with the deaths of all three troopers. The primary burglary suspect was convicted of burglary and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released only to be sentenced to 6 years for cocaine sale in October of 2010 and he currently resides in the Florida State Prison System.

Trooper Pruitt had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for 5 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 37
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

Most Recent Reflection

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No greater honor is there than to lay down one's life in the service of another. First responders are heroes from the first day of recruit class til the playing of taps at their end of watch. That heroism extends as far as memories will exist and reverence for their selfless service continues in those who survived them. Dedication to that service will be honored throughout time. You and all the other first responders will forever be so honored.

Rob Slamka Wisconsin resident.

January 16, 2019

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