North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Samuel Newton Bullard was killed Monday night in Yadkin County.

At approximately 10:50 pm Monday, Trooper P.E. Ellis and Trooper Bullard were conducting a driver license checkpoint when a black BMW failed to stop for the troopers and fled the checkpoint. The Troopers pursued the suspect vehicle until reaching I-77 south traveling into Yadkin County. About three minutes later, Trooper Ellis could no longer see Trooper Bullard behind and could not reach him on the radio. At that point, Ellis discontinued the pursuit and returned north on I-77. Ellis located Bullard’s vehicle, which had been involved in a collision, at mile marker 80.

Trooper Bullard was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Wilkes Journal Patriot reports Bullard went off the right side of the road and hit a bridge support. WGHP reports that Ellis found Bullard’s vehicle engulfed in flames.

Trooper Bullard was 24 years old, a three year veteran of the Highway Patrol and is from Wilkes County. According to the Journal Patriot, Bullard was a 2011 graduate of East Wilkes High School. Bullard had been in the highway patrol for three years and was assigned to Surry County.

Authorities located the BMW along with the registered owner, identified as Cheyenne Harrison.  The driver of the BMW has been identified as Dakota Kape Whitt, 22, of Elkin.  Whitt is charged  with murder, felony fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle and driving with a revoked license.  Whitt is now in custody after an extensive search by state and local authorities.  At around 3:30 am Wednesday morning, investigators arrested Whitt without incident, and he was transported to the Wilkes County Detention Center in Wilkesboro.

Funeral services For Samuel Newton Bullard will be conducted Friday, May 25, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at John A. Walker Center in Wilkesboro, NC with Rev. Victor Church officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. prior to the service. Burial, with full honors provided by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Honor Guard, will follow at Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Ronda with Rev. Mike Smith officiating.