Two Nevada Highway Patrol troopers were tragically killed in the line of duty by an impaired driver

LAS VEGAS, NV - In the early morning hours of Thursday, November 30th, two Nevada Highway Patrol troopers were killed in the line of duty when a driver, who reportedly was driving under the influence, crashed into them while they were assisting a driver on the state's busiest freeway.

Those troopers have since been identified as Sergeant Michael Abbate, badge 304, and Trooper Alberto Felix, badge 502. The agency released a statement, saying, in part, "Both Sergeant Abbate and Trooper Felix dedicated their careers to serving the State of Nevada with exceptional commitment and pride. The Nevada State Police extends its heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of our fallen heroes."

According to the Associated Press (AP), during a mid-day news conference, Las Vegas Police Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said that authorities have arrested the driver, who fled the scene after hitting the two officers. The suspect also evaded police for hours before the car involved in the hit-and-run deadly crash was found at a nearby apartment complex.

Walsh said, "Right now during this very tragic time, the Nevada State Police is going to need that love and support from the community more than ever."

Police said that the incident happened around 3:30 a.m., when the two officers stopped to check on a driver who was asleep behind the wheel in Interstate 15 near downtown Las Vegas. Upon checking the driver, a white Chevrolet HHR struck them both.

Deputy Police Chief Brandon Clarkson said that after striking the two officers, the driver of the Chevy did not stop. About five hours later, police found the vehicle unoccupied at an apartment complex. Authorities did not disclose information on how the suspect was found or taken into custody.

The driver has been identified as 46-year-old Jamarcus Williams. He faces multiple charges including reckless driving, DUI, and failing to stop at the scene of a crash. Additionally, because the hit-and-run crash left two people dead, the charges include a sentencing enhancement that could add decades to Williams' sentence, if he is convicted. He is set to make his first court appearance on Friday, December 1st.

Authorities confirmed that one trooper was pronounced dead at the hospital and the other died on scene. The bodies of both troopers were escorted to the coroner's office by nearly two dozen officers on motorcycles with the blue-and-red police lights flashing, honoring the fallen heroes.

Outside the coroner's office, the officers escorting the trooper's bodies were joined by dozens more to salute as the bodies, which were covered with American flags, were carried inside by uniformed state troopers. 

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo ordered all U.S. flags in the state to be flown at half-staff until the troopers' funerals. He said in a statement, "This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city if Las Vegas, and our entire state. As we mourn these troopers, we will never forget their bravery, courage, and sacrifice."

According to the Nevada State Police, Abbate joined the Department in December 2013 and was recently promoted to Sergeant in November 2023. Felix joined the Department in January 2019. Prior to his service with the Highway Patrol, he served in the United States Air Force.
 
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