Nassau County deputy killed in Yulee accident, FHP says … – Florida Times-Union
Eric James Oliver’s Facebook page shows a smiling man in his Nassau County Sheriff’s Office uniform, a little girl hugging him in a photo taken just days before Hurricane Matthew brushed past Northeast Florida.
Below it, a message from a friend advising the 32-year-old deputy to “Stay safe brother.”
But just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, as the 7-year veteran deputy was chasing a man who ran from U.S. Border Patrol agents at a Gate gas station in Yulee, Oliver’s life ended when he was hit by a passing sport utility vehicle on Florida 200.
Visibly emotional as he described his deputy, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper paused before talking about how he had just met with the deputy’s family, including 6-year-old daughter Shelby Lynn Oliver.
“It is very tragic and very sad, but we told them he died doing what he loved to do and he was a good police officer,” Leeper said, emotion on his face. “He worked hard and he did it he did his life to protecting the community. He will certainly be missed.”
Facebook was awash with sorrow from other parts of the law enforcement community as well as Oliver’s friends upon news of his death.
St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar posted a message from him and his staff, sending “heartfelt condolences to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office after a traffic crash has taken one of their deputies.
“Our sympathies are with you, and we are here for whatever help you need,” he wrote.
Friends of the fallen deputy like Sheena Hobbs and Jason Gresham posted an image of a Nassau County Sheriff’s Office deputy badge with a black and blue ribbon across its face, saying “In memory of: Deputy Eric Oliver, #945.” Another friend, Philip Williams, posted that he had “lost one my greatest