The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) and law enforcement agencies all over the state are mourning the tragic loss of Trooper Nicholas Dees. He died in the line of duty Saturday night, according to OHP officials.
The crash happened just inside the Seminole County line on I-40 near mile marker 195 around 10 p.m. Investigators stayed on scene throughout the night and crews were still clearing the area Sunday morning.
The semi was one of the last things to leave the scene. The torn-up vehicle was the initial reason troopers stopped. Soon after, tragedy struck.
OHP Captain Paul Timmons said two troopers were out of their patrol cars Saturday night, on scene of a semi crash. While Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were investigating that crash, a passing car hit the semi and both troopers.
The crash killed Dees. Burch was taken to OU Medical with serious injuries.
“It's an extremely difficult situation. Any loss in law enforcement or any loss in general is tough to deal with,” Timmons told News 9.
Dees had just graduated from the academy in 2013 and officials said his father is a retired trooper.
“He's been around the highway patrol his whole life,” said Timmons.
A photo of a badge spread all over social media Sunday to honor Dees, who law enforcement officials said will never be forgotten.
“It's something we all pray and hope never happens … but it's a risk we're willing to take,” said Timmons.
Timmons said Dees leaves behind a wife and two children.
The driver of the semi was also hurt in the second crash and the person behind the wheel of the passing car is in the hospital.
Investigators said it's still unclear where the troopers were standing at the time of the crash. Investigators said they are also still trying to determine why the driver crashed into them.