Public arrangements have been announced for Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle, who died Monday, May 14, in a motorcycle accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, at Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. That will be followed by a 3 p.m. ceremony at the Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota, according to a spokeswoman for the Town of Longboat Key.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the following organizations: the Police Athletic League (www.sfapal.com), Meals on Wheels (www.mealsonwheels-sarasota.org), Shriners Hospital (www.shrinershospitalforchildren.org), All Faiths Food Bank (http://allfaithsfoodbank.org) or Angel Flight (www.angelflight.com).
An avid motorcyclist, Hogle died about midday May 14 while riding with a group of fellow law enforcement officers. They were at Milepost 416 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is 469 miles long, the parkway’s chief ranger, Steve Stinnett, told The Sarasota News Leader. The incident occurred near the intersection of U.S. 276, as the group was heading northbound toward Asheville, he added.
“It was kind of foggy, wet, rainy,” Stinnett said, noting that they were in an area of the parkway where the elevation exceeds 5,000 feet.
Hogle was negotiating a curve, Stinnett said, when he swerved across the two-lane road, onto the shoulder, and struck a downed tree at the wood line.
“CPR was begun right away” by one of the other motorcyclists, Stinnett said, but Hogle was not responsive. Emergency medical services responded within 20 to 30 minutes, Stinnett added. “That’s as fast as it’s gong to be in this area,” he said, given the nature of the mountainous terrain and the winding roads.
“I know it’s a terrible tragedy for the family,” Stinnett said. “The Park Service here — we feel awful for the community down there [in Sarasota].”
A spokeswoman for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem told the News Leader that an autopsy originally was scheduled, but the medical examiner for Transylvania County, where the incident occurred, had ruled that that was unnecessary.