Listen Live
Listen Live

Washington State Patrol trooper struck, killed on I-5; suspect in custody


(The Center Square) – A driver struck and killed a Washington State Patrol trooper early Saturday morning near Marysville.

Trooper Christopher Gadd, 27, was stopped with a motorist on the right shoulder of the freeway near 136th Street NE just before 3 a.m..

Snohomish County Sheriff’s spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe told reporters an SUV was believed to be traveling “at a very high rate of speed” when it veered to the right and struck the trooper, killing him at the scene.

After the initial crash, the SUV “became disabled and a van traveling southbound collided with it,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The driver of the van was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Five others in the van were not injured.

The 32-year-old driver, Raul Benitez Santana, 32, of Lynwood, stayed at the scene and was arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide.

Authorities took him to Providence Medical Center Everett for an evaluation, and he was then booked him into the Snohomish County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

A blood sample was taken to test for suspected impairment.

According to a news release from State Patrol, Gadd’s death marked the 33rd line of duty death in the history of Washington State Patrol.

Gadd began working for State Patrol in 2021. His father, David Gadd, is also a state trooper in King County and his sister, Jacqueline Gadd, is a Texas State Patrol trooper.

Gadd was born in Pasco and graduated from Kentlake High School in Kent.

He attended Green River College and Tacoma Community College, earning his EMT certification.

Gadd is survived by his wife, Cammryn, daughter Kaelyn.

Several law enforcement agencies throughout Washington have, in a sign of mourning, changed their social media profile pictures to badges covered by a thin black line.

Lawmakers in Olympia opened debate on the House floor Monday morning with a moment of silence in honor of Gadd.