Sergeant Francisco Diaz-Melendez

Sergeant Francisco Diaz-Melendez

Puerto Rico Police Department, Puerto Rico

End of Watch Sunday, October 6, 1985

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Francisco Diaz-Melendez

Sergeant Francisco Diaz-Melendez, Policeman Pedro Burgos-Lacourt, and Policeman Herminio Lopez-Pilar drowned when their patrol car fell through a broken bridge into a swollen river during Tropical Storm Isabel.

The officers were responding to a distress call while driving along PR-52 Luis A. Ferre Expressway. When they arrived at marker 78.1 they did not realize the bridge had collapsed completely, and their vehicle fell into the Coamo River along with other vehicles. It was concluded that heavy rains caused the bridge to collapse and poor visibility obscured the missing portion of the bridge.

Policeman Homero Ortiz-Martinez drowned the following day while working on efforts to recover the patrol car from the river.


  • Age 39
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Automobile crash


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Thank you for your service and know that your sacrifice will never be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 7, 2020

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