POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. – An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper was killed in the line of duty over the weekend.
According to the OHP, Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were struck by a vehicle while investigating a collision involving an overturned semi on I-40 near mile marker 195 around 10:00 p.m. Saturday.
Trooper Dees suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Trooper Burch was critically injured and taken to O.U. Medical Center. He is listed in serious condition.
Officials say both troopers were out of their patrol cars when they were struck.
“The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has endured the tragic loss of Trooper Nicholas Dees and serious injury suffered by Trooper Keith Burch. We are deeply saddened by the loss of Trooper Dees and are praying for Trooper Burch’s full recovery” said O.H.P. Chief Rick Adams.
“We’re all human. We’re not bullet proof because we put this (uniform) on,” Lt. John Vincent said. “As part of the OHP family, we’re saddened by the great loss that we suffered last night.”
Lt. Vincent and Cpt. Paul Timmons are wearing black bands on their badges in remembrance of Dees.
Support is coming in from around the nation.
On Facebook, one post read “condolences from the Missouri troopers.”
On another, “Prayers, respects, and condolences from Connecticut to the entire OHP and this trooper’s family.”
Trooper Dees is survived by his wife and two children.
According to the OHP, the driver of the overturned semi sustained minor injures. He was treated and released.
The driver who struck the troopers was transported to a local hospital where he remains in stable condition.
Officials are investigating the accident.
Both troopers graduated from the 61st Oklahoma Highway Patrol academy in 2013.