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Fallen Heroes Details

In Memory Of
Brian Wilkinson
Polk County Sheriff, FL
End of watch: 2001-10-22
Aircraft: Bell OH-58A
Pilot Brian Wilkinson, 33, and TFO Larry Rhoden, 33 were killed when their helicopter crashed in a marsh just north of Bartow.

The flight team, who had been providing aerial support to Lakeland deputies during a burglary arrest, was headed back to Bartow. Their last communication with the dispatcher was at 12:58 AM. At 1:06 AM a deputy requested by radio that the helicopter go to an area south of Bartow near a power plant. Investigators believe the helicopter was either headed there or to the agencys hangar at the Bartow Airbase. Five minutes later, dispatchers tried to contact the helicopter to assist Winter Haven Police Department. Attempts to raise the crew were futile. After repeated attempts to contact the crew by radio and pager were unsuccessful an aerial search was begun. Chief Pilot Greg Love and Flight Officer Rob Gray located the helicopter in a pit near Lake Hancock.

Brian Wilkinson, a seven-year veteran of the agency, left behind a wife and infant son.

Thoughts and Memories of Brian Wilkinson

So sad to hear of this loss. Eight years have passed and I just heard of his death. He was a great man and a great Christian.

Rest in Peace, Brian
From the Carbonells
Vionette Carbonell

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