NATIONAL NEWS

Driver arrested after 2 troopers killed in Las Vegas freeway hit-and-run was impaired, police say

Nov 30, 2023, 10:48 AM | Updated: Dec 1, 2023, 10:05 am

Nevada State Police and other law enforcement officers embrace in the parking lot after the body of...

Nevada State Police and other law enforcement officers embrace in the parking lot after the body of a state trooper was taken into the Clark County Coroner's Office in Las Vegas, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. Two troopers who were assisting a motorist early Thursday morning were hit by a vehicle and killed, according to Nevada State Police. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two Nevada state troopers in Las Vegas who had stopped to help a driver on the state’s busiest freeway were killed in the pre-dawn hours Thursday when an impaired driver struck them, authorities said.

Las Vegas police Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said at a mid-day news conference that they had arrested the driver, who fled after hitting the two officers and evaded authorities for hours before the car involved in the hit-and-run crash was found at a nearby apartment complex.

“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,” Walsh said.

The state police on Thursday identified the officers as Sgt. Michael Abbate, who joined the agency in December 2013 and was recently promoted to sergeant, and Trooper Alberto Felix, who joined in 2019 after service in the U.S. Air Force.

(Nevada State Police) (Nevada State Police)

Police identified the driver as Jemarcus Williams, 46. Court and jail records did not list on Thursday night an attorney for Williams who could speak on his behalf.

Williams faces charges of reckless driving, DUI and failing to stop at the scene of the crash, according to court records. Because the alleged crimes left two people dead, the charges include a sentencing enhancement that could add decades to Williams’ punishment if he is convicted.

Around 3:30 a.m., the two officers had stopped to check on a driver who was asleep behind the wheel on Interstate 15 near downtown Las Vegas when a white Chevrolet HHR struck them both, police said.

The driver did not stop, said Deputy Police Chief Branden Clarkson. But he said investigators found the car unoccupied at an apartment complex around 8 a.m. He did not say how the suspect was found.

One trooper was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other died at the scene.

Williams is due to make his first court appearance Friday morning.

Video released by the police department showed the bodies of both troopers being escorted to the coroner’s office by about two dozen officers on motorcycles, their blue-and-red police lights flashing.

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

Gov. Joe Lombardo, who said he was “profoundly saddened” by the deaths, ordered all U.S. flags in Nevada to be flown at half-staff until the troopers’ funerals.

“This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city of Las Vegas, and our entire state,” Lombardo said in a statement. “As we mourn these troopers, we will never forget their bravery, courage, and sacrifice.”

A stretch of the highway and several on-ramps were shut down for hours after the deaths, snarling traffic for miles.

In 2021, not far from where the two troopers were killed Thursday, another state trooper was struck and killed on Interstate 15 during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle. The carjacking suspect, who led officers on a chase throughout Las Vegas and neighboring North Las Vegas, hit trooper Micah May while he was putting down a tire-deflating device across freeway lanes.

___

Associated Press writer Terry Tang in Phoenix contributed.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

(Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Toyota recalls 280,000 pickups and SUVs because transmissions can deliver power even when in neutral

The recall is to fix a transmission problem that can let the vehicles creep forward while in neutral.

3 minutes ago

The defendants are accused of stealing software used to train Apache helicopter pilots....

Haley Britzky and Sharif Paget, CNN

2 National Guardsmen killed after military helicopter crash in Mississippi

Two National Guard members died after a helicopter crashed Friday afternoon during a training flight in northeast Mississippi.

2 hours ago

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 photo, containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored ...

Associated Press

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law.

6 hours ago

Beguiling Joshua trees and intriguing rock formations helped draw millions of vistoris to Joshua Tr...

Forrest Brown, CNN

The most visited National Park Service sites in 2023 are …

See what Utah National Park proved to be the most popular in 2023.

7 hours ago

FILE - The residence where a former funeral home owner kept a deceased women's body in a hearse for...

Associated Press

A former funeral home owner has been arrested after a corpse lay in a hearse for 2 years

A former funeral home owner accused of hiding a woman's corpse in the back of a hearse for two years and hoarding the cremated remains of at least 30 people has been arrested, authorities said.

7 hours ago

FILE: The University of Wyoming campus sign with the Wyoming Union in the background Friday March 2...

Mead Gruver

Highway crash in Colorado kills three University of Wyoming swimmers

A single-vehicle wreck on a highway in northern Colorado killed three members of the University of Wyoming swimming and diving team.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Driver arrested after 2 troopers killed in Las Vegas freeway hit-and-run was impaired, police say