Deputy who died remembered fondly


Ocala Police Cpl. Mark Crandall, left, and his brother, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Crandall, are photographed following an award ceremony in November. Timothy Crandall, who grew up in Gainesville, died in December during an off-duty traffic accident.

Special to The Sun
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 21, 2008 at 10:53 p.m.

Ocala Police Cpl. Mark Crandall remembers when his younger brother first did a ride-along with him after he became a law enforcement officer.

The trip cinched Timothy Crandall's future career goals. Like his big brother, he became an officer and was working for the Royal Palm Beach Police Department when it became part of the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office in 2006.

Late last year, just after Christmas, Timothy Crandall, 30, died in a vehicle crash while he was off duty.

Timothy Crandall, who was born in Gainesville and graduated from Gainesville High School, died Dec. 28 in Palm Beach County, Mark Crandall said. He had served as an officer for about six years.

Timothy Crandall was heading west on County Road 880 in western Palm Beach County when he passed another vehicle, his brother said. As he drove back into his lane, he lost control of his vehicle, hitting a guardrail. The vehicle rolled at least three times, landing in a canal. The officer was ejected and received fatal injuries.

Mark Crandall, 37, said his brother became "the kind of cop that other cops look up to."

In one case, Timothy Crandall identified and arrested a suspect linked to more than 20 gang-related burglaries in South Florida, his brother said. Last November, he received a "life saving award" from the Sheriff's Office after he helped save a man who attempted suicide by drowning in a canal. He also took time out from law enforcement work to help people, using his own time and money to assist elderly residents in the area who needed work done at their home, his brother said.

Timothy Crandall had been headed to pick up a repaired charm bracelet for his wife when the crash occurred, Mark Crandall said. He planned to give it to her at her upcoming birthday.

Mark Crandall said his brother and his wife, Tiffany, had wanted to move back to North Florida where they would be closer to relatives, including his mother. The brothers' father had previously been a professor at the University of Florida and now is a professor at Clemson University.

Timothy Crandall's funeral was held Jan. 4, with law enforcement agencies from around the state sending officers.

Another memorial took place soon after the crash when officers went to see the crash site, the officer's brother said. They found that some of the local troublemakers had gone to the scene also and planted a cross and a flag.

"They were out there crying with the deputies. Tim earned a lot of respect from a lot of people," his brother said. "He was an amazing person. He's the kind of cop that other cops look up to."

Lise Fisher can be reached at 352-374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.

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