LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Most of us would think hostage situations or gunfire would be high on the list of dangers for highway patrol troopers. And they are. However, the possibility of being involved in car crashes are an even more serious daily concern. A pair of Nevada Highway Patrol troopers would agree after nearly being struck while trying to redirect traffic following an accident.
On August 5, 2017 at about 2:15 a.m., NHP Trooper Auer and Trooper Gagne were giving traffic control in the left lane of traffic for a crash at the location of northbound Interstate 15 at Spring Mountain.
Trooper Gagne’s car was ahead of Trooper Auer’s car and both had their emergency lights on. The troopers remained in the left lane of I-15 due to a stalled car in the lane from the crash they were investigating. Trooper Auer walked south bound from his patrol car and began lighting and placing flares out for traffic control. A black Dodge Neon was traveling north bound on I-15 towards Trooper Auer, and it was going too fast for the rain and wet road conditions. Trooper Auer saw the car traveling toward him and jumped over the center median of I-15 to avoid becoming a pancake.
The driver of the Dodge applied heavy braking and the front of the Dodge slammed into the rear of Trooper Auer’s unoccupied patrol car. The impact pushed Trooper Auer’s car north bound toward Trooper Gagne’s car which he was occupying. Trooper Gagne heard the initial impact, placed his car into drive and attempted to accelerate forward. Despite his efforts, the front of Trooper Auer’s car hit the rear of Trooper Gagne’s. Trooper Auer and Gagne were both uninjured during the event. The driver and passenger of the Neon were transported to UMC trauma with non-life threatening injuries.
Although gunfire continues to be a serious threat for law enforcement officers across the nation, car related injuries are still the number one cause of line of duty deaths. Law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, tow truck drivers, as well as several other first responders’ jobs include working on or near busy roadways and we need communities to help to prevent further deaths and injuries to these first responders on our roadways in Nevada.
**Nevada Highway Patrol contributed to this press release, but did not disclose the first names of the troopers involved.**