The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is mourning the loss of a member from an on-duty patrol vehicle collision.
Last Monday night, Trooper Samuel Newton Bullard, 24, a three-year veteran assigned to Troop E, District 5 (Surry County), died following a chase and crash on Interstate 77 in Yadkin County.
“Our SHP family is devastated by the loss of Trooper Bullard. We are struggling to find words that describe the hurting we feel right now,” said Col. Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol.
“Trooper Bullard died as he was fulfilling his promise to the people of North Carolina, protecting and serving his community.”
“With great sadness, we acknowledge the line of duty death of State Highway Patrol Trooper Bullard, added Secretary Erik Hooks of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
“My prayers are with Trooper Bullard’s family and our State Highway Patrol family. Our law enforcement professionals face dangers daily in carrying out the mission to protect our communities.
“Throughout the department, we mourn the loss of our fallen comrade.”
At approximately 10:50 p.m., Trooper P.E. Ellis, who was also assigned to Troop E, District 5, and Trooper Bullard were conducting a driver license checkpoint in their assigned duty station.
A black BMW failed to stop for the troopers and fled the checkpoint.
Troopers pursued the suspect vehicle until reaching I-77 south traveling into Yadkin County.
.@NCSHP mourns today as we carry our brother to his final resting place. While we honor his service to NC in ceremonial tribute, we ask everyone to keep the family, friends, fellow Troopers and the entire @NCSHP in your thoughts and prayers. Rest easy Trooper Samuel N. Bullard pic.twitter.com/BQi6e7dYJf
— NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) May 25, 2018
At approximately 10:53 p.m., Trooper Ellis no longer could see Trooper Bullard behind him as he was pursuing the suspect vehicle and attempted to reach him by in-car communications.
Once Trooper Ellis was unable to receive a response from Trooper Bullard, he discontinued the pursuit and returned north on I-77.
Trooper Ellis located Trooper Bullard’s vehicle, which had been involved in a collision, at mile marker 80. Trooper Bullard was pronounced deceased at the scene.
After an extensive search, authorities located the BMW along with the registered owner, identified as Cheyenne Harrison.
The driver of the BMW has been identified as Dakota Kape Whitt, 22, of Elkin.
— Michael Hennessey (@mhennesseynews) May 23, 2018
Officials announced that 22-year-old Dakota Kape Whitt, of Elkin, was arrested around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday after a tip led to a traffic stop.
The murder charge is related to malice used during reckless driving causing a death, Highway Patrol said.
He was taken to the Wilkes County Detention Center in Wilkesboro.
Law enforcement authorities from across the country made their way to North Carolina Friday to pay their final farewell to State Highway Patrol Trooper Samuel Bullard, including representatives from various law enforcement agencies throughout North Carolina, Georgia State Patrol, Ohio Highway Patrol, Virginia State Police, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Wisconsin State Police, Delaware State Police, Utah Highway Patrol, Pennsylvania State Police, Indiana State Police, Texas Department of Public Safety, Missouri Highway Patrol, Illinois State Police, Michigan State Police, West Virginia State Police, among others.
— Michael Hennessey (@mhennesseynews) May 25, 2018
Editor’s post: Thank you Trooper Samuel Bullard for serving the citizens of North Carolina with distinction and pride. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family, both blood and blue. Rest easy Sir. You will be missed. Esse Quam Videri