LAS VEGAS, NV – Two Nevada state troopers lost their lives in a hit-and-run incident on a local freeway in the early hours of Thursday morning, leaving the community in shock and mourning their untimely deaths. The troopers, identified as Sgt. Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix by the Nevada Highway Patrol, were involved in an early morning call to assist a driver apparently asleep at the wheel on Interstate 15.
As they were attending to the situation, a white Chevrolet HHR struck the officers around 3:30 a.m., according to Las Vegas Police Department spokesperson Branden Clarkson. The driver subsequently fled the scene, leaving both officers critically injured.
One of the troopers died at the scene while the other trooper succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. Both troopers were fathers, recalled Clarkson. Notably, Abbate, who joined the state agency in December 2013, was recently promoted to sergeant. Prior to joining the force in January 2019, Felix served in the U.S. Air Force.
Clark County District Attorney, Steve Wolfson, described the incident as a “terrible, terrible tragedy”. The suspect, 46-year-old Jemarcus Williams, was later arrested in connection with the hit-and-run. He was discovered hours after the incident when the abandoned white Chevy was located in a nearby apartment complex around 8 a.m.
Williams has been charged with two counts each of reckless driving resulting in death, driving under the influence leading to fatal consequences, and failure to stop at the scene involving a fatality. Williams’ legal representation is unclear at present.
In his public statement, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo expressed his condolences saying, “This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city of Las Vegas, and our entire state.” He commemorated the bravery, courage, and sacrifice of the fallen officers.