Search on for hit-run driver, pickup that hit Nevada trooper

May 3, 2019

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities in Las Vegas were looking for a hit-and-run driver and a pickup truck that appeared to accelerate before hitting a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper who was outside his patrol vehicle during a traffic stop, a patrol spokesman said Friday.

The trooper who was hit escaped serious injury when he was struck by the pickup while he and a Las Vegas police officer were investigating a wrong-way driver stopped early Thursday on Boulder Highway southeast of downtown, Trooper Travis Smaka said.

Investigators think the pickup driver intentionally struck the trooper, because the trooper’s body-worn camera recorded the sound of the engine revving moments before impact. Smaka said it sounds like the vehicle changed gears while accelerating.

The driver left the scene. The vehicle was described as a dark, newer model pickup with four doors and a short cargo bed. Smaka said it may have damage to the front left side from the crash.

The injured trooper was not immediately identified. Smaka said he’s a five-year veteran of the highway patrol assigned to a driving under the influence task force. He was treated at a hospital for injuries to his lower body and released.

Smaka said it wasn’t clear what criminal charges the pickup driver could face.