Lee County deputy dies suddenly after birthday

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Lee County deputies are mourning the loss of a colleague who he died suddenly after celebrating his own birthday.

Willard Truckenmiller, 32, was a military veteran, decorated deputy and volunteer football coach at Riverdale High School.

Truckenmiller was off duty when he stopped by the Shores Bar and Grill early Tuesday morning. Earlier, he had invited friends to celebrate his birthday with him.

At the restaurant, Truckenmiller started acting out of character, according to Scott Moorey, the attorney for the bar owner.

The bar staff asked Truckenmiller to leave and when he didn’t, they called deputies to the scene.

“He was just acting strangely and something was off,” Moorey said. “When he was asked to leave and he wouldn’t, the managers and owners called law enforcement and they handled it from there.”

Sheriff Scott released a statement on his deputy’s passing, saying: “I had just communicated with him that afternoon as it was his birthday. I am very saddened by this tragic turn of events.”

Scott confirmed Truckenmiller did not survive an apparent medical episode but the exact cause of death is unknown.


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