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Suspect Arrested In Yadkin County Car Chase After Trooper Killed In Crash

Bullard2.jpg
North Carolina Department of Public Safety

An Elkin man was arrested early Wednesday morning in connection with the Monday night death of a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper after he led police on a short chase. 

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Dakota Kape Whitt, 22, drove through a police checkpoint station in Yadkin County around 10:50 p.m. Monday. He then led police on a chase that ended a few minutes later when a trooper crashed his cruiser into a bridge support on Interstate 77. The trooper, Samuel Bullard, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Whitt was arrested without incident. He is charged with murder, felony fleeing to elude arrest and driving with a revoked license. Whitt is in custody in the Wilkes County jail. 

Bullard had been with the Highway Patrol for three years.

Col. Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol, said the agency is devastated by the loss.

“We are struggling to find words that describe the hurting we feel right now,” McNeill said. “Trooper Bullard died as he was fulfilling his promise to the people of North Carolina, protecting and serving his community.”

Gov. Roy Cooper also extended his condolences in a statement on Twitter. 

“Trooper Bullard died while bravely protecting and serving the people of North Carolina,” Cooper said. “Our prayers are with his family and friends after this tragedy.”