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Update: Cushing man arrested for manslaughter in death of OHP trooper

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UPDATE: Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers arrested Steven Clark on Friday morning for the death of Nicholas Dees.

Lt. John Vincent, with the OHP, says the Seminole County District Attorney plans to file first-degree manslaughter charges against Clark.

 

POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. - Crash investigators have finished their investigation into what happened leading up to two Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers being hit while on the scene of a separate accident.

Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were investigating an overturned semi along I-40, east of Shawnee, when they were hit by an oncoming vehicle

Trooper Dees died at the scene. Trooper Burch was rushed to the hospital in serious condition.

Officials are saying very little about that driver who hit the men, but they have clarified how the accident happened.

“It's just like losing a family member. It's hard to describe,” Captain Paul Timmons, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, said.

Condolences have been pouring in to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on social media. Many leaving prayers and thoughts following the death of Trooper Nicholas Dees.

It's a tragedy that has hit the entire state. Monday the governor even paused during her State of the State address for a moment of silence in honor of Trooper Dees and Trooper Burch.

The troopers were both hit by an oncoming car late Saturday night as they investigated an overturned semi along I-40.

“All I can tell you is they were outside of the vehicles. As for the investigation, they are trying to piece that together to where they were,” Timmons said.

Captain Timmons says the semi accident had blocked the inside lane of I-40, while traffic was still flowing on the outside lane.  The driver who hit the troopers came upon the accident, Timmons says it appears that driver, rather than staying with traffic, went around the trooper vehicles which were blocking the inside lane hitting the troopers.

“Everybody's hurting right now,” Timmons said.

Although Trooper Burch is still in serious condition, officials say he has been able to talk with investigators.

As for that driver, Captain Timmons says it will be up to the district attorney to decide whether he will face any charges.

“Right now our focus is trying to take care of the families, make sure they're both taken care of,” Timmons said.

We're told the funeral for Trooper Dees will be held Saturday, February 7th at noon at Broken Bow High School.

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