Wash. State Trooper Parked on Shoulder Fatally Struck by Motorist

March 4, 2024
Washington State Patrol Trooper Christopher Gadd was parked on the shoulder of Interstate 5 near Marysville when a car traveling at a high speed slammed into the rear of Gadd's cruiser.

A Washington State Patrol trooper was killed early Saturday morning after being struck by a motorist on southbound Interstate 5 near Marysville, the agency said in a news release.

Snohomish County sheriff's deputies responded to the crash near 136th Street Northeast just before 3 a.m. The trooper, identified as Christopher Gadd, died at the scene.

Gadd, 27, was with State Patrol for 2 1/2 years and worked out of Marysville.

"We will honor Chris, even in sorrow, but as an agency, we will go on," State Patrol Chief John Batiste said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. "The people of this great state need to know that we will continue to serve them with humility. Because he served, it's our duty to continue to serve. [We need to] honor him and never forget his ultimate sacrifice."

According to the Sheriff's Office, the trooper was parked on the right shoulder when someone driving at a high speed slammed into the back of the patrol car. A van then crashed into the suspect's car.

The suspect and the driver of the van were taken to the hospital, according to the Sheriff's Office. Five passengers in the van were not hurt in the crash.

The Sheriff's Office identified the suspect as a 32-year-old Lynnwood man. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of vehicular homicide. A judge approved a search warrant to test a sample of his blood.

Gadd was the 33rd WSP trooper killed in the line of duty and the first since Detective Eric Gunderson died after contracting COVID-19 at a work conference in September 2021. Before that, Trooper Justin Schaffer was hit and killed March 24, 2020, while placing spike strips on I-5 near Chehalis.

All lanes on I-5 southbound near the scene were closed during the large police response Saturday morning. The freeway was cleared and opened for traffic about noon, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

In a post on the social platform X, Gov. Jay Inslee said it is an "incredibly sad day" for the State Patrol. He said he and first lady Trudi Inslee send their condolences to the family.

Born in Pasco, Gadd graduated from Kentlake High School before receiving an emergency medical technician certification, the State Patrol said in a news release. He began working for the department in September 2021 as a trooper cadet and was assigned to Grandview, Yakima County.

During his time in the trooper academy, Gadd received the Top Academic Award, given to the cadet with the highest grade point average after 30 exams.

After completing basic training, he was assigned to patrol in Marysville in November 2022.

Gadd is survived by his wife, Cammryn, and daughter Kaelyn, the release said, as well as his father David Gadd, a former state trooper, his mother Gillian, and his sister Jacqueline, a state trooper in Texas.


(c)2024 The Seattle Times

Visit The Seattle Times at www.seattletimes.com

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