While responding to a collision scene in 1987, Washington State Patrol Trooper Clifford Hansell collided with a semi-trailer truck in Kent and died from his injuries.
The State Patrol issued a press release July 22 about Hansell to pause to commemorate those who died in the line of service as part of the agency’s 100th year of service. He was the 23rd fallen officer and died on July 22, 1987.
“He was a young man who in just 25 years had honorably served his country, had volunteered for additional perilous duties serving and protecting the public in our state, and had started a family with promise and with grace,” according to the State Patrol. “Be it a lifetime or a mere moment of service, the courage to serve commends him to our honorable memory and our lasting appreciation.”
Hansell would only serve six months as a commissioned law enforcement officer. On July 22, 1987, while responding to a collision scene, he collided with a semi-truck on North Central Avenue in downtown Kent sustaining fatal injuries during the crash.
Hansell was originally from Florida and moved to Illinois before joining the Army as a member of an Airborne Ranger Unit. Married and a stepfather, “Cliff” as he was known by friends and family.
Born on Aug. 1, 1961, in Milton, Florida, Hansell and his family eventually moved to Illinois where he graduated from Arcola High School. At the age of 20, Hansell enlisted in the U.S. Army serving three years as a member of an Airborne Ranger Unit.
The desire to continuing service led him to the Washington State Patrol where on Dec. 30, 1985, he became a trooper cadet with the Seattle Crime Laboratory. Hansell transferred to Mansion Security three months later before joining the 64th Trooper Cadet Class.
He was married when he joined the Patrol but divorced a short time later. He married again in 1986 to Lisa S. Marino and became stepfather to Angela Marino. Trooper Hansell was commissioned on Jan. 9, 1987. Assigned to South King County, he later transferred to Bellevue.