AUSTIN – A Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Trooper died Saturday afternoon in Bell County following a traffic crash.

Senior Trooper Thomas Nipper, 63, was conducting a traffic stop on the south bound shoulder of Interstate 35 in Temple, at approximately 3:05 p.m. Saturday, when his patrol car was struck from behind by a Chevrolet pickup. Trooper Nipper was transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. The crash, which took place in the Temple city limits, is under investigation and no additional details are available at this time.

“It is with heavy heart that we must notify our fellow Texans that State Trooper Thomas Nipper died in the line of duty today,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Today Texas and our DPS family lost one of our finest. Trooper Nipper was a hard-working and selfless man, who proudly served and protected the people of this state. His commitment to duty and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.”

Trooper Nipper was commissioned as a Trooper in January of 1983, and he was stationed in Temple. He is the 220thDPS officer to die in the line of duty since 1823. He is survived by his wife and three children. Funeral arrangements are pending.