YADKIN COUNTY, N.C. -- A state trooper is dead after a chase ended in a crash. The crash closed part of I-77 South in Yadkin County which shut down Monday night and into Tuesday morning. 

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol issued a statement mourning the loss of Samuel Newton Bullard, 24. Bullard was a three-year veteran assigned to Surry County. 

  • The crash closed I-77 in Yadkin County.
  • State Trooper Samuel Bullard, 24, died in the crash. 
  • The suspect/suspects involved are being sought by authorities. 

Bullard and another trooper were conducting a driver's license checkpoint when a black BMW failed to stop and fled the checkpoint. They purused the driver until reaching I-77 South going into Yadkin County. The second trooper could not see Bullard behind him. After trying to communicate with him, he went back on I-77 North. He later found Bullard's vehicle, which was involved in a collision at mile marker 80. Bullard was pronounced dead at the scene. 

“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. Trooper Bullard died as he was fulfilling his promise to the people of North Carolina, protecting and serving his community," said Col. Glenn M. McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol.

“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," said Secretary Erik Hooks with the NC Department of Public Safety.

The visitation for Bullard will be May 25 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the actual funeral being held at 1 p.m. at Wilkes Community College. The burial will immediately follow.

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