Clearwater police honor guard escort Douglas Carey’s casket into Grace Lutheran Church in Clearwater May 23. More than 350 people paid respects at the service.
CLEARWATER – It was standing room only in the sanctuary of Grace Lutheran Church in Clearwater May 23, as family and friends of Douglas Herbert Carey joined together to honor his memory.
Clearwater police estimate that more than 350 people attended the service to pay their respects.
Carey, 70, died May 20, 2014 at his job as a Clearwater school crossing guard. He was hit by a car at the intersection of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road and died at the scene.
He was born Nov. 27, 1943.
His career included 20 years of service as a Clearwater police officer. He served as a patrolman, training officer and retired as a detective in 1987. He later worked as a security guard for Morton Plant Hospital before rejoining Clearwater PD as a school crossing guard in 2010.
He served in the military police in the U.S. Air Force and received an honorable discharge in 1968. He was a lifelong member of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Jean; his daughter, Toni Carey of Brandon; a son, Brian Carey of Clearwater; a grandson, Dylan Carey of Clearwater; a nephew, Oliver Nelson “Butch” Carey and many other family members in Wisconsin.
Residents from Clearwater and Pinellas County paid tribute to Carey via makeshift memorials near the site where he died and at local schools of children he helped get to class safety day after day.
Flowers, balloons, cards, cups of coffee and donuts surround those memorials. The respect was evident in the many signs.
“A job well done Doug Carey. Wear your angel wings with pride,” was written on one framed piece of paper.
Someone else wrote on orange poster paper, “Douglas thank you. I saw you every morning helping kids cross the street. You always had a smile on your face. I’m sad to see you go because you were so committed to the safety of others around you. You were a wonderful man. Rest in peace. We will never forget,” said another.
On a large yellow poster, someone wrote, “Thank you to our crossing guard Doug Carey for serving our community and keeping our children safe. You are not forgotten! Your family is in our prayers. Soar with the angels Doug.” It was signed a grateful community.
U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who represents District 13, took a moment to honor Carey on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives May 22.
“Officer Carey lost his life while doing what he loved and what he did best, protecting and serving his community,” Jolly said. “… Officer Carey will be greatly missed, but his spirit lives on through the many many lives he has touched in our community of Pinellas County Florida.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Salvation Army in his memory to help the homeless. Arrangements are by Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home in Clearwater. Call 727-796-1992.
Clearwater man charged
Clearwater police say Julious Johnson, 28, of Clearwater was driving the Cadillac that struck and killed Carey. Johnson also left two children behind at the scene, a 2-year-old and 4-year-old, who were airlifted to All Children’s Hospital via Bayflight. Clearwater police announced that both children have since been released.
Johnson was driving a 2014 Cadillac XTS westbound on State Road 60 in the curb lane just prior to the crash. Alexandria Clark, 22, was driving a 1997 Honda. Clark was preparing to turn north from the turn lane onto Belcher Road. Carey was standing on the northwest corner of the intersection.
Clearwater police said it appears that Johnson accelerated through the intersection to avoid the red light. Clark’s Honda struck the rear of the Cadillac, causing it to leave the roadway, striking Carey. Johnson fled the scene on foot. A Clearwater Police officer located Johnson in the 300 block of Gunn Avenue and took him into custody.
Johnson reportedly admitted to driving the vehicle and fleeing the scene on foot due to having a suspended driver's license. He was charged with leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death, leaving the scene of a crash with serious injury, driving with a license suspended or revoked resulting in death, driving with a license suspended or revoked resulting in serious injury, two charges of aggravated child neglect, resisting arrest without violence and possession of marijuana.
Clearwater police reported May 24 that they had found a handgun Johnson had “ditched” while he was on the run after the crash. He was charged with felon in possession of a firearm. Bond for the nine charges total $491,000.
Johnson is no stranger to the Pinellas County Jail. Arrest records go back to 2005, when the then 20-year-old was charged with two counts of obstructing or resisting an officer without violence. He spent time in the county jail three times in 2006 for reckless driving, possession of cocaine and marijuana, fleeing and eluding police, and for habitually driving on a suspended license.
In 2007, he was jailed twice for driving with a suspended license. Jail records show he was incarcerated five times in 2008 on charges ranging from domestic battery, driving with a suspended license, fleeing and eluding, and reckless driving.
In 2009, he was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling and obstructing or resisting an officer without violence. He was jailed three times in 2010 for domestic battery, aggravated assault, tampering with a state witness, fleeing and eluding, trespassing and possession of cocaine. In 2011, he was booked into the jail two more times on charges of sale and possession of cocaine, and fleeing and eluding. He spent time in the state prison.