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Missouri Trooper Fatally Struck on Christmas Day

Missouri Trooper Fatally Struck on Christmas Day

St. Louis Post Dispatch via YellowBrix

December 25, 2009

EUREKA, Missouri. — A Christmas blast of winter weather led to dozens of stranded motorists and injuries on Friday, including the death of a state trooper who was responding to an accident.

Missouri Highway Patrolman Dennis Engelhard, 49, was on the scene of a minor accident on Interstate-44 near Eureaka when he was struck by an SUV that had lost control on the westbound section of the highway.

Engelhard, a 10-year veteran, was hit while walking to the back of his patrol car to retrieve an item from his trunk.

A spokesman for the Highway Patrol, Sgt. Al Nothum, said it’s unclear if the SUV hit a patch of ice or spun out on the slick road, but the driver’s loss of control appears to have been a result of the weather and is being treated as an accident.

Engelhard is the first Missouri trooper to die in the line of duty since Trooper Donald K. “Kevin” Floyd was killed on Sept. 22, 2005, when he was struck by a vehicle in Texas County, in south central Missouri.

According to Nothum, Engelhard was not married and had no children.

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