DURANT, Okla. (KXII)-- On January 31, 2015, OHP Trooper Nicholas Dees was investigating a crash along with another trooper just east of Shawnee, Oklahoma.
In a matter of seconds, everything changed.
A driver who was texting and driving drove into the scene and killed Trooper Nicholas Dees and seriously injured Trooper Keith Burch.
Lt. Scott Hampton of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said, “Anytime we lose someone, in our trooper family or law enforcement family its hits you to your core.”
Shelley Russell is the mother of Nicholas Dees, after her son was killed, she said she knew she had to do something meaningful to keep his legacy alive.
“I thought you know instead of feeling sorry myself and living in pity what better way than to try to keep his legacy alive and keep the dangers of texting and driving in people’s mind.”
Over 300 people participated in the 4th annual Trooper Nicholas Dees memorial run, made up of a 5k and a 7.31 mile run in honor of Dee’s badge number 731.
All proceeds raised from the event goes to a special scholarship fund for students who are pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice in the state of Oklahoma.
“The stories I’ve heard since his passing is just unbelievable, how he impacted people,” said Russell.
One man traveled from Longview and has been to every run since it started four years ago. All while holding onto a flag honoring law enforcement.
“It’s just an honor to come here and represent the thin blue line flag, I’ve been running with this flag since the first year, so it’s the fourth time running with this flag,” said Miguel Acuna.
“Yes its hard work, yes its emotional, it opens up scabs, wounds and that’s where its hard for me to do, but then again I look at what it’s done,” added Russell.