Motorist who killed Carrollton officer was driving with cruise control at 88 mph: report

Courtesy: Carrollton police

An 82-year-old Carrollton man had his cruise control set at 88 mph and never tried to avoid hitting Carrollton Officer Steve Nothem, who died in the October accident, according to a final Carrollton police report.

The report completed by the Carrollton Police Department’s crash reconstruction unit noted that there were no signs that Richard Parker took evasive action before his vehicle hit Nothem’s patrol vehicle on Oct. 18. Parker also died in the crash.

Records from the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office also revealed that Parker, who was from Carrollton, had multiple prescription medications and other non-prescription drugs in his system at the time of the crash, according to the investigation which was released a few days ago.

No criminal charges will be pursued because Parker was killed in the crash and the case has been closed, Carrollton police said.

Nothem died from his injuries after his vehicle was hit by the passing car while he was responding to a call on a highway, police said.

The officer was in his patrol car when it was struck while he was assisting another officer on a driving while intoxication investigation.

“We all know the heavy risk in public safety today, especially out on our highways,” said Rex Redden, executive director of public safety in Carrollton and the acting police chief, in a news conference shortly after the fatal accident. “Our police family is in mourning.”

Police were at the scene just before 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 18 in the 1900 block of the President George Bush Turnpike at the time of the accident.

Nothem had just arrived to back up a fellow officer on a DWI arrest when his squad car was hit at 10:24 p.m. with Nothem still inside.

“We lost a beloved officer in the line of duty overnight,” Carrollton police posted on social media.

After being hit, the officer was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Parker died at the scene.

Carrollton police were at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, 6200 W. Parker Road in Plano, until early that morning, then took the officer in a procession to the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office, where fellow officers lined up to salute him, WFAA-TV reported.

Nothem left behind his wife, a 13-year-old son, twin 6-year-old sons, a 1-year-old-daughter, and many extended family members. He joined the Carrollton Police Department in March 2020 after serving the Grand Chute, Wisconsin, Police Department for four years. Prior to his law enforcement career, Nothem served for many years in the U.S. Marines.

The officer was the first to be killed in the line of duty in Carrollton.