Two Nevada state troopers were killed earlier this week after an intoxicated man allegedly struck them while they were conducting a wellness check on another Las Vegas motorist.
Just before 3:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix were checking on a driver who had reportedly fallen asleep on the northbound I-15 interstate near D Street, located just a few blocks northwest of Downtown Las Vegas. While the troopers were attending to the sleeping driver, another driver in a white Chevrolet HHR struck them and sped away.
Sadly, one of the troopers died at the scene, while the other perished at a nearby hospital soon after, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, devastating the Nevada law enforcement community. In a moving tribute to their fallen brothers, members of agencies at both the state and local levels gathered as officers on motorcycles with flashing lights but no sirens led a solemn procession to transport Abbate’s and Felix’s remains from the Clark County Coroner’s Office to the funeral home.
Part of that procession can be seen in the clip below:
Suspect in custody after 2 Nevada State Police troopers struck, killed on Las Vegas freewaywww.youtube.com
Abbate had been with the Nevada Highway Patrol for nearly a decade and was promoted to sergeant just a few weeks ago. Trooper Felix joined NHP in 2019 after serving honorably in the Air Force.
“Both Sergeant Abbate and Trooper Felix dedicated their careers to serving the State of Nevada with exceptional commitment and pride,” said a statement from Nevada State Police Public Information Officer Kim Yoko Smith. “The Nevada State Police extends its heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of our fallen heroes. We respectfully request that the media maintain the privacy of the families and the Department during this challenging time.”
Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) — a former sheriff of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located — ordered all state and U.S. flags to be lowered to half-mast until the sunset after Abbate and Felix are interred. “This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city of Las Vegas, and our entire state,” the sheriff turned governor said in a statement. “As we mourn these troopers, we will never forget their bravery, courage, and sacrifice.”
As Nevada troopers prepared to bury two of their own, local officers with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department began the work of tracking down the driver who killed them. By 8 a.m. Thursday morning, just hours after the deadly hit-and-run, police discovered the white HHR in the parking lot of an area apartment complex and soon afterward arrested 46-year-old Jemarcus Williams in connection with the case.
Williams has a long history of traffic violations in Las Vegas dating all the way back to 2007, the LVRJ reported. That year, Williams pled no contest to a DUI charge. In the following three years, he was arrested for allegedly driving without a license on four separate occasions. He also pled no contest to failing to yield the right of way in 2020.
This time, the charges against Williams are much more serious. He now faces six felonies: two counts of reckless driving resulting in death, two counts of DUI resulting in death, and two counts of failing to stop at the scene of a crash. When he is scheduled to appear in court and whether he has retained an attorney are currently unknown.
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