Two Nevada state troopers lost their lives in a hit-and-run incident in Las Vegas early Thursday morning. The tragic incident occurred as they were conducting a routine check on the busiest freeway in the state, and they were struck by an impaired driver.
Accused of the troopers’ murder, Jemarcus Williams, 46, allegedly managed to elude law enforcement for hours after his vehicle was found at a nearby apartment complex, as highlighted by Las Vegas Police Undersheriff Andrew Walsh in a press conference.
Sergeant Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix had halted to inspect a driver found asleep behind the wheel on Interstate 15 near downtown Las Vegas at approximately 3:30 a.m. The alleged suspect, operating a white Chevrolet HHR, reportedly struck both individuals before fleeing the scene.
Authorities reported that one trooper succumbed to the incident on the freeway, while the other was swiftly transported to a nearby hospital and subsequently pronounced deceased. The suspect’s car was found abandoned at an apartment complex at approximately 8 a.m.
Williams is confronting charges of reckless driving, DUI, and leaving the crash site. Given that the alleged offense resulted in the death of two individuals, the charges incorporate a sentencing enhancement, potentially extending Williams’ punishment by decades if he is found guilty.
A poignant video, released by the department, depicted approximately two dozen motorcycle officers escorting the bodies of both troopers to the coroner’s office.
Sergeant Abbate and Trooper Felix devoted their professional lives to serving the State of Nevada with outstanding dedication and pride, as stated by the department on X. Abbate, with a decade of experience, became a part of the Troopers in December 2013 and was recently promoted to Sergeant last month. Following Felix’ service in the US Airforce, he joined the department in 2019.
Numerous law enforcement officers were observed rendering salutes to the bodies draped in the American flag as uniformed state troopers carried them inside. Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo issued an order for all US flags in the state to be flown at half-staff until the funerals of the troopers.
Williams is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Friday.