Trooper Killed In Accident Involving 18-Wheeler

Killed in the line of duty, an East Texas trooper is broad sided by an 18-wheeler after crossing the highway to pull over another driver. Right now, DPS is still questioning how the fatal accident, along US 59, happened. It was just north of Marshall late Wednesday night.  Trooper Todd Dylan Holmes, 29, of Gilmer died in the wreck. He's survived by his wife and three young children, with a fourth on the way.

East Texas troopers says it's one of the worst wrecks they've seen involving a state trooper.

"It's hard anytime you know whether a trooper gets killed or even injured, seriously injured.  It is hard," says Trooper Sylvia Jennings.  After a long night of investigating, Thursday, many East Texas troopers are still trying to figure out just how one of their own was killed Wednesday night.

So far, DPS knows Trooper Holmes was Northbound on US 59, parked along the shoulder when he flipped on his emergency lights to pursue a car going Southbound.  But when pulled into the roadway an 18-wheeler also traveling in Northbound hit him and killed him instantly.

The truck driver did swerve to the left to avoid hitting Holmes' patrol unit, but unfortunately, Trooper Holmes was also veering left.  The two ended up in the highway's grassy median. The question now is how did the drivers not see each other.

"I was out there last night, I understand there's kind of like a hill and a curve at the same time, so I don't know, I don't have those facts, I don't know whether he did not see the Trooper or saw him, but he couldn't stop, I don't have those facts," says Trooper Jennings.

Trooper Holmes works for the Upshur County DPS, but was patrolling in Harrison county Wednesday night as part of a traffic enforcement program. Trooper Jennings says anytime an accident like this happens, it reminds them how just important safety is everyday.

"When something like this happens it will be brought again during in service and emphasized again to be cautious when we do those turnarounds," she says.

The truck driver was from Wisconsin. He received only minor injuries and has not been cited.  A memorial fund has been set up in Trooper Todd Holmes' name at the Gilmer National Bank.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: