NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA — The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is conducting a special emphasis campaign on distracted driving through the end of the month.

The mobilization is dedicated and inspired by Trooper Nicholas Dees who was killed by a distracted driver on January 31, 2015.

Trooper Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were investigating a collision involving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 40 in Seminole County near the Pottawatomie County line when they were hit while standing outside their patrol units after a driver failed to yield to their warning lights.

Dees died instantly, Burch received serious injuries and has since retired. 

Steven Wayne Clark was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and spent five years in prison. He is currently out on probation. 

The case led to the “Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act of 2015” which states in part “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within this state while using a handheld electronic communication device to manually compose, send, or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion.”