It could take months to complete the investigation into the Interstate 75 traffic death Saturday evening of Florida Highway Patrol Master Sgt. William Trampass Bishop.
FHP Public Affairs Officer Lt. Patrick Riordan said Sunday afternoon that a traffic homicide investigation is underway that could take anywhere from 90 to 120 days to complete.
And, FHP investigators are still speaking with witnesses and are not sure if there was any negligence involved in the crash.
Bishop, a 30-year veteran with the agency, was struck while outside his patrol vehicle, according to an FHP news release. He was taken to University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Riordan said the investigation will look at many possible factors, such as possible intoxication on the part of one of the drivers, or any faulty equipment that may have contributed to the crash.
“Our investigators have a lot of work in front of them,” Riordan said. “They’ve got a lot of witnesses, some of whom they’ve already interviewed, and they’ll probably need to do some follow-up interviews so we can piece this thing back as accurately as possible.”
No information was available on Sunday regarding funeral services or a memorial for Bishop, but Riordan said he expects that information to be released early this week.
Riordan, who knew Bishop personally, said Bishop was a professional and dedicated member of the Highway Patrol who was well-liked and well-respected.
“It’s a tragic event for those of us who were fortunate to know Sgt. Bishop,” he said. “He was, I would say, a class-act kind of guy. He had a demeanor that made him a pleasure to work with and he will definitely be missed.”
The crash occurred at 6:36 p.m. Saturday on I-75 southbound at mile marker 403 near the High Springs exit.
“We all have a heavy heart," said FHP regional commander Chief Mark Brown Saturday night during a news conference. "Every time we go out there, we know this can happen, but we’re never prepared for it."
“Anybody that has ever been near Trampass (Bishop) knows that he’s an amazing man and he’s dedicated his life to service and he’s going to be sorely missed. He’s a wonderful man and he’s a dedicated public servant.”
Bishop was at the scene of a previous crash involving a Chevy Malibu driven by Steven D. Catanach, 22, of Miami, according to a FHP media release. That car was parked in the inside emergency lane.
At that time, a second crash occurred in the center lane. A 2016 Ford Fusion driven by Michael T. Korta, 46, of Tampa, was behind a 2007 Cadillac STS when the two collided. The driver of the Cadillac — John C. Sams, 67, of Lady Lake — had minor injuries.
Bishop was struck during the secondary collision.