What to expect as thousands gather in Gilchrist County today to honor fallen deputies


Today's procession for Gilchrist County's fallen deputies may be the largest the state has seen.

As roads may be backed up, law enforcement asks for your patience as the community mourns.

"This procession is huge,” said Lt. Scott Tummond of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office. “We're going to have a lot of traffic issues. We ask for your patience as we lay these two brave men to rest tomorrow."

The public viewing will start tomorrow at 10 am, followed by a service at 11 at Bell Middle/High School.

Parking will be at the elementary school. Seating inside is limited, so overflow listening and viewing will be on the football field.

Graveside honors will start no earlier than 2:30.

“We’re asking our public to be extremely patient with us,” Tummond said. “For our locals, the traffic in this particular procession is going to be huge.”

Here is the route the procession will take to the cemetery:

After the services in Bell, the funeral escort will leave at 12:45.

It will go south, through Trenton, on County Road 129 and then south on County Road 339.

The procession will turn south on US Alternate Highway 27 and then turn east on State Road 24 to the Bronson Cemetery.

“We’ve also designate the Pine Grove Church on County Road 339 as a safe location for our public to park and show their honors as the processions go by,” Tummond said.

Officials ask to not park along the side of county roads 129 and 339 to view the procession.

After this wet weather, they do not want the procession to be interrupted by a stuck car.

“Parents, if you’re hearing me, you’re kids will be getting out of school early tomorrow,” Tummond said. “Be prepared for that.”

All schools in Gilchrest County School District will be closed tomorrow.

All Levy County schools will have a typical early release, except Bronson Middle/High School and Bronson Elementary School. They will release earlier to clear the roads of school busses for when the procession comes through.

“We're just asking, please, extend your condolences, show your honors, and hold your patience as we move through this tragic event,” Tummond said.

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