Two troopers, Nicholas Dees and Keith Burch, were struck by a car while investigating a jack-knifed semi on westbound I-40 east of Shawnee around 10 p.m. Saturday.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the troopers were in the median when a car left the roadway for an unknown reason and struck them. Trooper Dees died on scene, and Trooper Burch was rushed to OU Medical Center.
Burch is currently listed in serious condition.
The driver of the vehicle that hit the troopers was also transported to a local hospital. He is listed in stable condition.
Authorities shut down I-40 westbound and eastbound lanes because of the crash. A crash team was called to the scene early Sunday morning to investigate.
A news release states both Dees and Burch graduated from the OHP Academy in 2013. Dees, the son of a retired trooper, was associated with the law enforcement agency all his life, the release states.
He was assigned to the Hughes County Detachment of Troop D. Burch is assigned to the Seminole County Detachment of Troop D.
The Oklahoma High Patrol Chief Rick Adams released this statement,
“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”.
Chief Adams also asked the families of Troopers Dees and Burch be kept in prayer during this difficult time, as the outpouring of prayers and sympathy from the public touches the entire O.H.P. family.