2 Law Enforcement Officials Working During Hurricane Irma Killed in Head-On Crash

Playing 2 Florida Officers Die Trying To Protect Others From Hurricane Irma

Two Florida law enforcement officials have died after their respective vehicles collided head-on while they were responding to Hurricane Irma over the weekend.

Hardee County Deputy Julie Bridges and Sgt. Joseph Ossman with the Florida Department of Corrections were killed Sunday when their vehicles collided in Tampa, according to reports.

Watch: Student Says Flight to Flee Florida From Irma Was $1,600

Both officers had been required to stay in the county despite mandatory evacuations in response to the massive storm.

Deputy Bridges was picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when her patrol car hit Sgt. Ossman's vehicle, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. 

Sgt. Ossman was reporting for his shift at the Hardee Correctional Institution, which remained open despite the evacuation.

Sgt. Ossman had served with the Florida Department of Corrections for 21 years.

"We are heartbroken by this loss," Florida Corrections Secretary Julie Jones said in a statement. "Our thoughts & prayers are with the families of the two FL officers who lost their lives." 

Bridges was a 13-year veteran officer. 

"Let's take a moment to recognize these heroes ," the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office tweeted.

As Hurricane Irma began to barrel past Florida on its path inland Monday, the sun rose over a state where millions are now without power, and at least five people were killed in accidents likely to be blamed on the historic storm.

Watch: Check Out the Highway Traffic in Florida as Families Evacuate Before Irma

As of around 8 a.m. Monday, Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm as southern Georgia braced for an onslaught of torrential rain.

The National Hurricane Center said Irma would continue moving north over the western Florida peninsula through Monday morning and then into the southeastern United States late Monday and Tuesday. 

Watch: Why These Florida Families Are Refusing to Leave Despite Irma Warnings