DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — Delray Beach Police officers are mourning the loss of one of two fellow officers involved in an off-duty crash in Key West, over the weekend, and they’re holding out hope for the surviving victim.
The entire police department is reeling from the accident, which claimed the life of Delray Beach Police Officer Christine Braswell and sent Officer Bernendea Marc to the hospital.
Monday afternoon, mourners left flowers and written condolences on Braswell’s police SUV outside the department. Braswell’s tactical gear sat on a table alongside her coworkers and friends.
7News cameras captured officers and staffers, some in tears, hugging each other. “This is our family, so it hurts. It really hurts,” said Delray Beach Police Chief Jeff Goldman.
Braswell, 41, and Marc, 25, were riding a motor scooter when, authorities said, a vehicle made a left-hand turn in front of them and hit them, Saturday, at around 3 a.m. Officials said Braswell, a veteran officer, was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she died at the hospital surrounded by her parents, friends and colleagues.
According to her coworkers, Braswell was a superstar at the department. She was the only female officer on the SWAT team and was also a sniper.
“She had a great personality,” said Delray Beach Police Sgt. Richard Jacobson. “She cared about people, and she had an easy manner. She could talk to anybody out on a call. It didn’t matter who it was. She could go out there and talk to them and relate to anybody.”
Braswell, a field training officer, had trained Marc, a rookie. The older officer became Marc’s mentor, and the two became friends.
Braswell and Marc had decided to go to Key West over the weekend.
Police said 31-year-old Lacy Morris was behind the wheel of the car that struck their scooter. She underwent a sobriety test.
“That was completely a shock to me,” said Jacobson. “She was one of these people that you felt like she was a close, personal friend to you. She could make you smile at the drop of a hat.”
Marc is currently listed in stable condition and is alert.
Mourners said they will always remember Braswell’s go-getter attitude, caring demeanor and radiant smile. They said she was known to people in the community and would play football with local children.
“Once we pay our respects, that’s when the real healing will start,” said Goldman.
Authorities said Morris has a long criminal history. She had been arrested several years ago for driving at an unlawful speed. It is unclear what charges, if any, she will face.
Key West Police are investigating the crash.
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