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Auxiliary Captain Owen Karl Bender | Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Florida Highway Patrol, Florida

Auxiliary Captain

Owen Karl Bender

Florida Highway Patrol, Florida

End of Watch: Thursday, September 9, 1965

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 48

Tour: 6 years

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Struck by vehicle

Incident Date: 9/8/1965

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Auxiliary Captain Bender was struck by a vehicle and killed as he manned a roadblock on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

Captain Bender and several officers were working the roadblock to restrict causeway traffic because of dangerous driving conditions in Miami Beach due to Hurricane Betsy. At approximately 2200 hours, Captain Bender was checking the identification of a vehicle he stopped when a yellow taxicab approached the roadblock. Realizing that the vehicle was not going to stop, Captain Bender and another officer ran for the median in the road, but the vehicle struck the captain. He sustained a fractured skull and was transported to a hospital where he died at 0002 hours.

A homicide investigation showed that the driver had a driving record that included three accidents, one suspension, and over seven traffic infractions. However, this incident was ruled "accidental".

The accident was later investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who was looking into the possibility that the taxi-driver ran the roadblock intentionally because his three passengers paid him to do so. The three passengers were involved in a plot to kill a man in the federal witness protection program. All three passengers had fled the scene of the accident, leaving the taxi-driver alone.

Captain Bender was a WWII veteran and had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for six years. He was survived by his wife, three brothers, and a sister.

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To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 48th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg (CA) officer Larry Lasater
May 4, 2013


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