Alleged Intoxicated Driver Kills Two State Troopers on I-15 in Las Vegas

Posted on: December 1, 2023, 09:21h. 

Last updated on: December 2, 2023, 01:29h.

The Nevada State Police (NSP) is mourning two troopers who were killed Thursday while on duty on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The troopers were struck in the northbound lanes of the highway near D Street by an alleged intoxicated driver.

Nevada State Police Sergeant Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix
Nevada State Police Sergeant Michael Abbate, left, and Trooper Alberto Felix, pictured above. They were killed in a hit-and-run crash in Las Vegas. (Image: Nevada State Police)

The troopers were identified as Sergeant Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix. One died at the crash site. The other was declared dead at University Medical Center.

The troopers had stopped at 3:23 a.m. to check on a motorist who apparently fell asleep in a car on the highway. That’s when another car plowed into the officers and the driver fled the scene, according to police. The vehicle was later located at a Las Vegas apartment complex near J Street and Monroe Avenue.

The driver, Jemarcus Williams, 46, was apprehended at the apartment complex and charged with two counts each of reckless driving resulting in death, driving under the influence resulting in death, and duty to stop at the scene of an accident involving death.

He was booked at the Clark County Detention Center and remained in custody as of Friday morning.

The crash led to the temporary closing of portions of I-15 and ramps leading from U.S. Highway 95 to I-15.

Remember Officers

Abbate joined the NSP in December 2013 and was promoted to sergeant just last month, according to Fox News. Felix joined the NSP in January 2019 after previously serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Both are believed to be survived by children.

Sergeant Abbate and Trooper Felix dedicated their careers to serving the State of Nevada with exceptional commitment and pride,” the NSP said in a statement. “The Nevada State Police extends its heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of our fallen heroes.”

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson went to the site of the fatal crash.

It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy to have these troopers lose their lives in the manner they did,” Wolfson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, R, a former Clark County sheriff, also mourned the two troopers.

“I’m profoundly saddened by the deaths of two of our brave Nevada State Troopers, who were killed early this morning in Las Vegas,” Lombardo said in a statement. “This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city of Las Vegas, and our entire state. As we mourn these troopers, we will never forget their bravery, courage, and sacrifice.”

Prior Death of Trooper

In 2021, Nevada State Trooper Micah May, 46, also died after being struck by a driver on I-15.

The suspect in that incident, identified as Douglas Claiborne, 60, was fatally shot by officers on the highway. Claiborne was reportedly reaching for May’s firearm when other troopers opened fire. He had led officers on a high-speed chase before the fatal crash.