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Originally published June 4, 2013 at 7:57 PM | Page modified June 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM

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Thousands expected at trooper’s memorial Thursday in Everett

A memorial service for fallen State Patrol Trooper Sean O’Connell is expected to draw thousands of people to Comcast Arena.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A memorial service for State Patrol Trooper Sean O’Connell is expected to draw thousands of people Thursday to the Comcast Arena in Everett.

The service, which is expected to last at least three hours, is to begin at 1 p.m.

City officials say the service, which is open to the public, will tax the city’s streets and are urging people to stay out of the downtown area from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

O’Connell, 38, was working traffic control on a detour around the collapsed Skagit River Bridge on Friday evening when his motorcycle collided with a box truck and he was thrown from his bike.

He was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital, where he died.

An investigation into the circumstances of the collision is ongoing, but the driver of the truck has not been cited.

O’Connell was a well-known and well-liked 16-year veteran of the patrol who worked out of district headquarters in Marysville and was once named Trooper of the Year, according to the patrol.

He was married and had two children, aged 7 and 5.

Trooper Keith Leary, a patrol spokesman, said O’Connell was an “extraordinary” person, father and officer.

“He was the best of the best,” Leary said.

Some details about the service and the motorcade procession are still being worked out. More specific information, including where to view the funeral procession, is expected to be released Wednesday.

Members of the public who want to attend the service are asked to park at the 10th Street Boat Launch, at West Marine View Drive and 10th Street on the city’s waterfront.

Everett Transit will provide a free shuttle service from the boat-launch parking lot to Comcast Arena about every 15 minutes, between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Return shuttles to the 10th Street Boat Launch will start at 3 p.m. and continue to 5:30 p.m.

To get to the 10th Street Boat Launch:

•If driving north on I-5, exit at Pacific Avenue in Everett and drive west to West Marine View Drive. Turn right onto northbound West Marine View Drive to 10th Street. Turn left into the boat-launch parking lot.

•If driving south on I-5, use Highway 529 into Everett. Veer right onto West Marine View Drive and follow to 10th Street. Turn right into the boat-launch lot.

Because of street closures and traffic, Everett Transit and Community Transit regular bus and paratransit services in downtown Everett will be severely impacted.

Preparation for the motorcade procession will take place at the Smokey Point rest area on southbound I-5. The rest area will be closed to the public from Wednesday at noon until 1 p.m. Thursday, police said.

Donations can be made to the family through the Washington State Patrol Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 7544, Olympia, WA 98507.

Flowers and cards may be taken to the District 7 headquarters at 2700 116th St. N.E. in Marysville.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com

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