Nevada Highway Patrol close call highlights dangers troopers face across country

NHP Trooper close call with drunk driver

It was a close call for a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper after a suspected drunk driver nearly slammed into his cruiser.  It happened in Fernley, Nevada last week.  A dash-cam video shows a speeding vehicle run through a stop sign almost slamming headfirst into his cruiser.  Trooper Travis Smaka, the spokesman for NHP, says this is a consistent danger that highway officers face.  "That's just the risk of being a state trooper.  We've had several officers this year whose vehicles have been struck," Smaka said.  NHP arrested the driver in the Fernley incident for drunk driving, and now this shocking video is sparking a conversation about the danger highway troopers face all over the nation.  "It is a genuine sense of sorrow for every officer across the country when you hear this," Smaka said.  "When they say they walk that line, we walk that line with them," said Kori Jaworski, who is part of the group Police Wives of Southern Nevada.  Her husband is now a police officer, but he was also an NHP state trooper for four years.  "There were plenty of times he would come home and he would say he was on a call and he would be jumping on top of cars because a car almost side-swiped him," she said.  Jaworski says she knows the risks her husband and every other law enforcement officer take, and she hopes drivers will be a part of the solution and not the problem.  "I want people to be more vigilant when they're driving because they're driving a weapon, and our husbands and spouses want to come home to their families," Jaworski said.  And remember, the state of Nevada does have a move over law.  If you see a trooper or any first responder on the side of the road, slow down and if it's safe to do so, move over a lane.

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