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Lawmaker: Man accused of hitting, killing OHP trooper was updating social media while driving

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UPDATE: According to Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian, a high rate of speed was not the only thing to blame for a crash that claimed the life of an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were investigating an overturned semi along I-40 when 29-year-old Steven Clark allegedly hit them.

According to court documents, Clark admitted to OHP investigators that he saw the troopers' flashing emergency lights but didn't slow down. Instead of merging to the right lane to go around the crash and the trooper's car, he drove right toward it.

Clark is charged with manslaughter in the death of Trooper Nicholas Dees.

Rep. Christian says Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief Rick Adams, Pontotoc County District Attorney Chris Ross and other sources have told him that Clark was updating his social media pages while driving.

 

OKLAHOMA CITY - The man accused of killing OHP Trooper Nicholas Dees was arraigned on first-degree manslaughter charges Monday.

The district attorney is considering adding more charges after watching the dash cam video of what happened.

Steven Clark apologized outside the courtroom.

"I'm very sorry. I don't even remember what happened," Clark said.

Wearing a brace around his orange jumpsuit, the 29-year-old appeared confused going before the judge, asking if he could do community service or something to get out of jail today.

The judge said "no" and told him how to get an attorney.

"If there was anything I could do, I don't know what happened. If I could undo it, I would," Clark said.

Clark is charged with manslaughter in the death of Trooper Nicholas Dees.

Trooper Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were investigating an overturned semi along I-40 last week when Clark allegedly hit them.

According to court documents, Clark admitted to OHP investigators that he saw the troopers' flashing emergency lights but didn't slow down. Instead of merging to the right lane to go around the crash and the trooper's car, he drove right toward it.

"If it was in any way my fault, which I'm sure that it was, I'm sorry. I would fix it, I would change anything," Clark said.

Trooper Dees' funeral was held Saturday. Trooper Burch is recovering from his injuries and has been talking with investigators.

More than a dozen state troopers were in court today in support of both of them.

"The fact that a man's life weighs on my soul... I don't know what to say," Clark said.

The judge raised Clark's bond to $100,000. His next court date is set for March 5.

READ MORE ON TROOPER NICHOLAS DEES HERE.

 

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