Two troopers place a photo of their slain colleague, Chris Gadd, outside state patrol’s District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Two troopers place a photo of their slain colleague, Chris Gadd, outside state patrol’s District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

State trooper killed, 1 arrested in crash on I-5 near Marysville

Authorities said Trooper Chris Gadd had been stopped along the freeway around 3 a.m. near 136th Street NE. A Lynnwood driver, 32, was arrested.

MARYSVILLE — A driver struck and killed a Washington State Patrol trooper early Saturday, shutting down southbound I-5 for hours near Marysville.

Trooper Chris Gadd, 27, had been stopped along the right shoulder of the freeway near 136th Street NE, on routine patrol for DUI drivers.

Just before 3 a.m., Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies found the trooper had been hit by an SUV, sheriff’s spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe told reporters at a press conference Saturday. The SUV was believed to be traveling “at a high rate of speed” when it veered to the right, O’Keefe said.

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 non-life threatening injuries, the sheriff’s office said. The five passengers in the van were not injured.

A heavily damaged Washington State Patrol vehicle is hauled away after a crash killed a trooper on southbound I-5 overnight Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A heavily damaged Washington State Patrol vehicle is hauled away after a crash killed a trooper on southbound I-5 overnight Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The suspected SUV driver, 32, of Lynnwood, stayed at the scene. He was arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide. Authorities took him to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett for an evaluation, then booked him into the Snohomish County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office. A judge approved a warrant to get a sample of the driver’s blood to test for impairment, O’Keefe said.

Gadd was born in Pasco and graduated from Kentlake High School in Kent, according to a state patrol press release. He went on to attend Green River College and Tacoma Community College, earning his EMT certification. He was married with a 2-year-old daughter, according to the Washington State Patrol.

He began working for the agency in September 2021 as a trooper cadet assigned to Grandview, Yakima County. His father, David Gadd, is also a state trooper in King County. His sister, Jacqueline Gadd, is a state trooper in Texas.

About 25 somber Washington State Patrol troopers gathered around 1:30 p.m. for a media briefing, joined by Snohomish County Sheriff Susanna Johnson. Flanked by troopers, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said Gadd was a “good trooper and even better human being.”

“I’ve conveyed to the family our profound sorrow for what they and we are suffering from,” Batiste said. “Chris’ passing is a devastating loss to his family, who knows all too well about the risks of public safety service.”

He added: “The entire Washington State Patrol family mourns with them.”

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste addresses the media outside state patrol’s District 7 Headquarters after an overnight crash that killed trooper Chris Gadd on southbound I-5 Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste addresses the media outside state patrol’s District 7 Headquarters after an overnight crash that killed trooper Chris Gadd on southbound I-5 Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Batiste said Gadd was struck and killed while “looking for drivers under the influence and otherwise — I’m indebted forever for that.”

Gadd was part of the 116th Trooper Basic Training class. Upon graduation in November 2022, he received two honors: the Top Collision Investigation Award and the Top Academic Award. After graduation, he was assigned to Marysville.

Law enforcement held a motorcade from the crash site to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office on Saturday morning. A memorial service will be held, Batiste said, with details to be released at a later date.

Meanwhile, southbound I-5 remained closed for about nine hours, north of Marysville.

The freeway reopened around noon.

Washington State Patrol Lt. Christopher Caiola shuts his eyes while listening to Chief John Batiste address the media during a press conference regarding an overnight crash that killed trooper Chris Gadd on southbound I-5 Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Washington State Patrol Lt. Christopher Caiola shuts his eyes while listening to Chief John Batiste address the media during a press conference regarding an overnight crash that killed trooper Chris Gadd on southbound I-5 Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Batiste reflected on Saturday’s crash and an incident in Kent where a trooper was shot last month.

“It’s been a terrible couple weeks,” he said.

Gov. Jay Inslee offered his condolences on social media. He called it “an incredibly sad day” for state patrol and all of Washington.

“A motorist struck and killed a trooper early this morning,” Inslee wrote. “As the investigation continues and we await more information, Trudi (Inslee) and I send our deepest condolences to the trooper’s family and loved ones.”

Photos from the crash scene showed a state patrol vehicle with a mangled rear end. The patrol vehicle and a black SUV were being hauled away by tow trucks around noon Saturday.

Flowers for slain trooper Chris Gadd begin to accumulate outside Washington State Patrol’s District 7 Headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Flowers for slain trooper Chris Gadd begin to accumulate outside Washington State Patrol’s District 7 Headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“It’s a tough morning,” state patrol spokesperson Chris Loftis said just before 8:30 a.m.

It marked the 33rd line of duty death in the Washington State Patrol’s history.

“We mourn the loss of all the brave men and women who have given their lives in service to our state and to public safety,” a state patrol statement read. “Today, we hold a special place in our hearts for the families and colleagues of our fallen this morning.”

Around the the state, police departments and law enforcement officers changed their social media profile pictures to badges covered by a thin blue line, in a sign of mourning.

The Everett Police Department posted on Facebook: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic line of duty death of the Washington State Patrol trooper that occurred on I-5 near Marysville early this morning. Our hearts go out to the Washington State Patrol, their family and friends, and all those that are grieving during this tragedy.”

Gadd is survived by his wife Cammryn, daughter Kaelyn, father David, mother Gillian and sister Jacqueline.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046; jordan.hansen@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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