UPD officer dies in Orlando traffic accident

Published: Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

A University of Florida police officer who served on the honor guard and on a team of sharpshooters was killed in a car crash Friday in Orlando.

Dead is Jean-Guy Deffense, said UF Police Chief Linda Stump, adding that Deffense was one of the department's best officers.

"He was one of those go-to guys you could count on for anything," Stump said. "One of the things he took a lot of pride in with the honor guard was that he stepped up to the plate to represent the agency. He would do it in the most honorable way possible."

The Orlando Sentinel, with information from the Florida Highway Patrol, reported Saturday that the accident happened about 3 p.m. on an East-West Expressway on-ramp to the Florida Turnpike.

Deffense, 43, was driving his 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck on the wet road when the truck veered onto the shoulder, rolled over, hit a metal light pole and landed on its roof. He was wearing his seat belt.

Deffense's passenger, his wife Marcia Wolf, 45, was not hurt. She also was wearing her seat belt.

In addition to serving on the honor guard, Deffense was a member of UFPD's Critical Incident Response Team, a group of trained sharpshooters.

"He was a sniper on our CIRT team. That takes a lot of skill, a lot of dedication and a lot of mental and physical preparedness," Stump said. "He was a guy who was willing to do it all for us. We have suffered a big loss."

Plans for a memorial tribute for Deffense have not been finalized, Stump added.

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