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26-Year-Old Austin Ross Dies During FCSO Physical Training

A memorial for fallen officers at the FCSO Operations Center, where Ross perished. ⓒ AskFlagler

BUNNELL – Austin Ross, a 26-year-old resident of Palm Coast, died on Monday while completing a physical challenge portion of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s deputy recruitment program. He was in the process of attempting to become a deputy, when he collapsed and later died.

Ross has lived in Palm Coast since 2021, having spent time working at Palm Coast Ford. He reportedly chose to pursue a career in law enforcement as a personal decision. Prior to moving to Palm Coast, he previously lived in Maryland and West Virginia.

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The test which might’ve triggered Ross’ death was an eight-step course which measured recruits’ ability to endure the physical toll that may be required on the job. Participants are made to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of undergoing the test, which Ross presumably did.

It’s reported that at some point during the proceedings, Ross collapsed to the ground out of breath. Reports of the incident suggest he was overweight, though it’s not certain whether that contributed to his tragic medical crisis. He’s not said to have lost consciousness when he collapsed.

Ross was given water and later CPR by deputies and paramedics who responded to the scene. He still reportedly had a pulse when he was taken to nearby AdventHealth Palm Coast, but he passed away at some point after being taken into hospital care. The other applicants were informed of what happened by the FCSO.

As of Tuesday evening, this story is still developing. More will be added as additional details become available.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

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