DPS officer is dead after traffic stop crash

A Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol Trooper died Saturday afternoon in Bell County following a traffic crash and a Temple news source reports a driver at the scene was from Marble Falls.

Senior Trooper Thomas Nipper, 63, was conducting a traffic stop on the south bound shoulder of I-35 in Temple, at approximately 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, when his patrol car was struck from behind by a Chevrolet pickup, according to a DPS press release.

Trooper Nipper was transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. The crash, which took place in the Temple city limits, is under investigation and no additional details have been available from the DPS.

A Temple Daily Telegram story did not say directly the Marble Falls driver's truck was the car that struck the patrol car, but the report did say, “Scott Taylor of Marble Falls, and his fiancée, Carmen Bridges, were occupants of a white 2017 Chevrolet truck and said the accident occurred while they on their way home from Corsicana.”

“We have no idea what happened,” Taylor was quoted in the Temple news story. “We were in the left lane. As far as I know that was the last thing I remember, then us rolling…We were grateful. The airbags saved our lives.”

According to that report, Taylor went on to say, “It seemed like our truck was completely surrounded when we landed,” he said. “There were people everywhere.”

The Daily Telegram story said Temple Fire & Rescue reported finding the trooper's vehicle on fire when their unit arrived at 3:12 p.m. and went on to say, “Firefighters used foam to extinguish it, and gave medical care to four people, including the trooper, involved in the crash.”

The driver of a blue Mazda reportedly also was taken to Scott & White in unknown condition.

“It is with heavy heart that we must notify our fellow Texans that State Trooper Thomas Nipper died in the line of duty today,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Today Texas and our DPS family lost one of our finest. Trooper Nipper was a hard-working and selfless man, who proudly served and protected the people of this state. His commitment to duty and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.”

Trooper Nipper was commissioned in January of 1983, and he was stationed in Temple. He is the 220th DPS officer to die in the line of duty since 1823. He is survived by his wife and three children. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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