FHP trooper dies of COVID-19 complications

FHP Trooper Lazaro Febles (Photo: FLHSMV)

The Florida Highway Patrol is mourning the loss of one of their troopers, who died over the weekend due to COVID-19.

On Saturday, FHP confirmed the passing of Trooper Lazaro R. Febles, who served for more than 11 years on the force out of Miami.

"The entire Florida Highway Patrol and FLHSMV family is heartbroken as we mourn the passing of Trooper Lazaro R. Febles, a valued member of the Florida Highway Patrol for more than 11 years, selflessly serving and protecting Florida's residents," the agency said in a statement.

RELATED: Florida governor says resuming daily COVID-19 reporting ‘may not be a bad idea’

According to a GoFundMe page started by Febles' friends and coworkers, he died due to COVID-19 complications.

"At the young age of only 42 he leaves behind his wife Luisa, his 6-year-old son Lucas, and his 5-month-old baby girl Lucia," the fundraising page said.

"Above all else, Trooper Febles loved his family deeply and was a devoted husband and father," FHP said.

Florida has seen a surge in cases in recent weeks because of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. 

The surge also has led to a major increase in hospitalizations. Florida hospitals reported on Friday that 15,840 patients with COVID-19 were filling inpatient hospital beds, about 27% of the inpatient beds being utilized, according to a website maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

In all, about 85.5% of the inpatient hospital beds in the state were in use, according to the data, which hospitals report to the government daily.