Washington Trooper Killed in Crash by Illegal Immigrant Driver

An illegal immigrant from Mexico has been arrested in connection with the death of Washington State Trooper Christopher Gadd, 27, who was killed when a motorist crashed into his parked patrol car on Interstate 5 in Marysville on Saturday.

The suspect, identified as Raul Benitez Santana, 32, admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol before driving his black SUV, according to probable cause documents cited by Fox 13 Seattle. Dash camera footage obtained by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office allegedly shows Santana’s car speeding and swerving into the rear of Gadd’s vehicle.

After colliding with the patrol car, Santana’s SUV spun into the fast lane and struck a van carrying six people, causing the driver to sustain a broken wrist. The other passengers were unharmed.

Trooper Gadd, who had served in the Washington State Patrol (WSP) for over two years, was pronounced dead at the scene. WSP Chief John Batiste described Gadd as “a promising young man” and called his passing “a devastating loss to his family.”

Santana, who is being held in Snohomish County Jail on $1 million bail, reportedly entered the United States “without admission or parole by an immigration officer.” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed him under an immigration detainer, requiring law enforcement agencies to notify ICE before releasing him from custody.

The incident has reignited political debates on immigration bills, particularly in the wake of the murder of Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley, allegedly by a Venezuelan man. The House recently passed the “Laken Riley Act,” which would allow the detention of migrants who committed burglary or theft.

In Georgia, the state House passed a bill allowing police officers to arrest individuals suspected of being in the country illegally and granting them the authority to arrest those who violate federal immigration laws, subjecting them to deportation. The bill also requires sheriffs to report the detention of illegal immigrants to federal authorities, with potential loss of state funding for non-compliance.

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