Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr. of the State Highway Patrol in North Carolina sadly reports the death of Trooper Samuel Bullard.
Trooper Bullard, 24, died as a result of injuries he sustained in a vehicle crash while he was participating in a vehicle pursuit.
Troopers Bullard and Ellis were conducting a driver license checkpoint on a two lane county road. A person driving a black BMW ran past the checkpoint and both troopers pursued him.
Ellis was in the lead patrol vehicle and Bullard was backing him up and reporting the status of the vehicle pursuit to dispatchers and command officers.
As the pursuit reached the freeway, Bullard discontinued his radio contact with other officers. Moreover, Ellis, who was pursuing the violator, noticed that Bullard was not behind him.
Failing to respond to attempts to contact him via radio, Ellis broke off the pursuit and commenced looking for Bullard.
Trooper Bullard’s patrol vehicle was located a short distance from the pursuit termination point. He had been involved in a collision and his patrol vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.
It appeared that Bullard’s patrol vehicle struck a bridge abutment. Ellis attempted to extricate Bullard from the burning vehicle, but was unsuccessful. As a result, Bullard died at the scene.
Troopers of the North Carolina Highway Patrol are conducting the crash investigation. The department’s Crash Reconstruction Team is assisting to determine the cause of the collision.
Troopers had recorded the license plate of the vehicle they were pursuing on video. Consequently, the local prosecutor has issued a murder warrant for the driver and owner of the BMW as a cause of the crash, which led to the death of Bullard.
“Our SHP family is devastated by the loss of Trooper Bullard. We are struggling to find words that describe the hurting we feel right now,” said Col. McNeill. “Trooper Bullard died as he was fulfilling his promise to the people of North Carolina, protecting and serving his community.”
I extend my deepest sorrows to the @NCSHP family as they mourn the loss of Trooper Samuel N. Bullard, E532 (Surry County) who died in a pursuit related motor vehicle collision on Interstate 77 in Yadkin County. All @CityofRoxboro Staff will wear a mourning band. #LODD pic.twitter.com/a5AguX6o1h
— David Hess (@ChiefDavidHess) May 22, 2018
Secretary Erik Hooks of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety added, “With great sadness, we acknowledge the line of duty death of State Highway Patrol Trooper Bullard. My prayers are with Trooper Bullard’s family and our State Highway Patrol family. Our law enforcement professionals face dangers daily in carrying out the mission to protect our communities. Throughout the department, we mourn the loss of our fallen comrade.”
Bullard served the North Carolina State Highway Patrol for three years. He was assigned to Troop E, District 5, which is the Surry County Detachment.
His parents, a fiancé, his brother and sister as well as an extended family survive Samuel Bullard.
Trooper Samuel Bullard is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Monday, May 21, 2018.