Ceremony held for unveiling of highway dedication signs in honor of Trooper Nicholas Dees

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SHAWNEE, Okla. - Brandi Dees said her two young daughters miss their father.

"They have their good days and their bad days, but they're doing pretty good for the most part,” Brandi said.

A ceremony was held Thursday in Shawnee, with Trooper Nicholas Dees family and state leaders present to unveil highway dedication signs in his honor.

The permanent memorials will be placed along the same stretch of road where the trooper lost his life.

"My husband paid the ultimate sacrifice for the state of Oklahoma, and I'm just honored they are going to dedicate this highway to him,” Brandi said.

The signs read 'Trooper Nicholas Dees Memorial Highway' and will be displayed in two different places along I-40 in Pottawotomie and Seminole Counties.

Trooper Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were hit by a driver who was updating his social media at the time of the crash.

Trooper Burch continues to recover from injuries he sustained, and the driver, Steven Clark, was later sentenced to 12 years in jail - five years to be served in prison and seven years on probation.

The tragic loss of Trooper Dees is what led Senator Ron Sharp to co-author and work to pass House Bill 1965.

The bill, named ‘The Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act’, makes texting and driving in Oklahoma illegal.

"This is a sad day, but a very wonderful day that we come of which to honor Trooper Dees for the service that he gave for our state,” Sharp said.

During his address to a crowd gathered at the Gordon Cooper Technology Cetner in Shawnee, Sharp pointed to a steep decline in texting and driving accidents since passage of the law.

Knowing the law provides comfort to Brandi, who said her husband would have been honored to know the law is saving lives.

She also hopes the highway signs dedicated to her husband’s memory will serve as a reminder to distracted drivers.

"I hope that, when people pass by and see this sign, that they remember to put their phones down, and they remember the sacrifice my husband made."

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