The Florida Highway Patrol said on Sunday that a soldier at the Fort Myers station had died of complications from COVID-19.
Brian J. Pingry, 60, served with F Troop at Fort Myers for seven years, joining the Basic Class of Recruits with the 129th Florida Highway Patrol.
Pingry, a field training officer who trained and mentored new soldiers, died on Saturday. He was the third FHP soldier and the 40th Florida law enforcement personnel to die from COVID-19.
Lt. Greg Bueno, of the FHP’s public affairs division at Troop F, said Pingry worked for a private sector retail company for a few decades before joining the FHP.
“Going through the rigors of the academy for six months and all the requirements / necessities to be a state soldier is a challenge, but essentially doing it as his second career later in life is extremely commendable,” said Bueno. . “Our state, Lee County and the local community have lost a great official and a person who prided himself on doing his job quietly every day.”
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Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes and Florida Highway Patrol Acting Director Lt. Col. Troy Thompson released a combined statement about Pingry :
“Private Pingry was a valued member of the Florida Highway Patrol for over seven years and will be truly missed by the entire Florida Highway Patrol and the FLHSMV family. We send our deepest condolences to the Pingry family – please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. “
Four other local law enforcement personnel, three from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and one from the Fort Myers Police Department, have died of complications from COVID-19 since July.