Monday, April 15, 2024

Person accused of causing a deadly car crash that resulted in the death of a Washington state trooper is facing charges

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A man is accused of crashing into a Washington State Patrol officer’s vehicle, resulting in the officer’s death. Trooper Christopher M. Gadd, 27, lost his life around 3 a.m. on Saturday when a driver hit his parked patrol car on Interstate 5 in Marysville, about 30 miles north of Seattle. The suspect, Raul Benitez Santana, 33, a Mexican citizen who entered the US illegally, has been charged with vehicular homicide.

Santana remained at the crash site and was taken into custody. He was first encountered by immigration officials in October 2013 in Burien, Washington, after being arrested on suspicion of “failure to appear.” Immigration officials in Seattle have placed Santana under an immigration detainer, which is a request to keep him in custody for potential pickup by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Trooper Gadd, who served for two-and-a-half years, was watching traffic in his marked patrol car parked on the shoulder of I-5 when the crash occurred. The Washington State Patrol Chief expressed deep sorrow for Gadd’s family, highlighting the profound loss to their family, where three members have served in law enforcement. Gadd is survived by his wife, daughter, father, mother, and sister, who is also a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Despite this tragedy, the Washington State Patrol is determined to honor Gadd’s memory by continuing to serve the public. Gadd’s passing marks the 33rd death in the line of duty in the agency’s 103-year history.

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