Fort Lauderdale detective killed by suspected drunk driver
A memorial service was held on August 26 for a police detective who died in a fiery rear-end collision. Loved ones, police officers and South Florida community members paid their respects to the seven-year veteran of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Christopher Sheehan, 30, was driving a 1995 Jeep Wrangler in Coral Springs, Florida, located about 20 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. He was heading northbound on State Road 7 when a suspected drunk driver in a 2010 Dodge Challenger rear-ended his vehicle. The crash occurred at around 2:30 am on August 20.
Police said 29-year-old Joselyn Lopez was at the wheel of the Dodge. Investigators believe alcohol and speed may have contributed to the fatal crash. Capt. Brad McKeone of the Coral Springs Police Department said the car was thought to be “traveling at a high rate of speed.” No charges have been filed.
Lopez was uninjured in the collision. However, police declared Sheehan dead at the scene. His passenger, Fort Lauderdale firefighter Jacob Snowhite, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. According to a witness, Snowhite had tried to rescue Sheehan from the Jeep, which was engulfed by flames.
Police said the Dodge crossed the median and halted “some distance away,” in State Road 7’s southbound lanes following the crash. A witness reported that the vehicle’s front was crushed and the hood had fire coming out of it. McKeone said investigators were looking into reports of Lopez’s car being involved in an earlier crash in a nearby area.
Sheehan was engaged to be married in October. He was recently assigned to the rapid offender control unit. The detective was also selected to serve on the SWAT waterborne entry team.