GROVELAND, Fla. - A 22-year-old detention deputy with the Polk County Sheriff's Office has passed away following a vehicle crash while he was off-duty, according to the agency.
Polk County officials said Drake Sawyer Perry died in the vehicle crash Wednesday while on State Road 33, south of Groveland in Lake County. In a news release, the sheriff's office didn't provide specifics on what led up to the collision or how many vehicles were involved. Officials said the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
Drake Sawyer Perry with Sheriff Grady Judd and family. (PCSO)
Deputy Perry was hired in September 2022 and sworn in by December. He was assigned to the South County Jail in Frostproof.
The sheriff's office said he lived in Ocoee and graduated from Olympia High School in Orlando. He attended Polk State College Kenneth C. Thompson Institute for Public Safety in Winter Haven. Perry was described as being the most proficient shooter in his class.
Drake Sawyer Perry with other deputies
"We are all grieving at the loss of this young deputy who was just starting out in his career," Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. "Deputy Perry was an outstanding cadet in the academy, and his classmates and coworkers remember him as always smiling, always positive, and a team player who was always helping others. He was a natural-born leader, and aspired to be on the SWAT team. He will be greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers."
Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.