TRENTON – Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Gross died Thursday after being hit by a car while responding to an incident involving a vehicle off the road on Route 3 in Trenton, announced Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane.
“While at the scene, Deputy Gross was struck by a vehicle travelling on Route 3 and injured,” Kane said in a press release. “Regrettably Deputy Gross did not survive his injuries.”
Gross had been an 18-year veteran of the department.
The Hancock County Commissioners honored Gross in 2018 for his 15 years of service with the department and the DARE program. Gross had been involved in teaching DARE in local schools.
Gross was instrumental in helping Deer Isle-Stonington High School run its Every 15 Minutes program about the dangers of intoxicated and distracted driving.
This past June, the Maine Bureau of Safety issued a reminder to drivers of the state’s “Move Over” laws requiring drivers to move over and slow down when approaching stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated. The notice was issued after emergency responders across the state reported an increase in drivers failing to do so.
In one case, a driver crashed into a cruiser on the side of the turnpike. In another, a volunteer firefighter was hit by a car while working with other first responders to put out a vehicle fire in Washington County. The firefighter was hospitalized with serious injuries.
On Sept. 10, the Bureau of Highway Safety and Maine State Police held demonstrations in Bangor and Wells to raise awareness of the issue.
“If it was your family member out there, day after day, in harm’s way, wouldn’t you want people to slow down and move over?” said Highway Safety Director Lauren Stewart in announcing the event.
Governor Janet Mills directed that the United States and State of Maine flags be lowered to half-staff statewide on the day of Deputy Gross’ service, when announced.
“Today, we mourn the loss of Deputy Gross, a member of Maine’s law enforcement community killed in the line of duty,” she said in a Sept. 23 statement. “My heart goes out to his friends, family and fellow officers. May we always remember that our law enforcement officers are dedicated public servants who risk their own lives every day to protect the safety of Maine people. Deputy Gross ended his watch protecting our great state, and his service and sacrifice will not be forgotten. On behalf of the people of Maine, I extend our condolences to his family, loved ones and colleagues around the state.”
“Early this morning, Deputy Gross was upholding his duty to protect and serve the people of Hancock County and assisting a person in our community when he was tragically killed in the line of duty,” state Sen. Louie Luchini (D-Ellsworth) said in a statement Thursday. “My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to his family, especially his wife and children, his friends, his fellow officers and our whole community. His commitment to the people of Hancock County will never be forgotten. Each year, we recognize the Maine law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty at the Memorial Service for fallen officers held at the State Capitol; our hearts will all be heavier this year remembering Deputy Gross.”