Cop dies after pickup slams into police car during traffic stop, Nebraska officers say

A Nebraska police officer was fatally hit while conducting a traffic stop on the side of a highway, officials said.

Ross Bartlett, 54, was sitting in his police cruiser during a traffic stop near Ceresco on April 12 when he was hit by a pickup truck, Nebraska State Patrol said in a news release. Bartlett’s police car then crashed into the Nissan Altima he originally pulled over, troopers said.

The 27-year-old driver of the Nissan Altima was sitting in their vehicle at the time of the crash, deputies said.

Bartlett was life-flighted to a hospital shortly after the Friday evening crash.

“Despite the efforts of many bystanders, first responders, and medical personnel, Officer Bartlett succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased Friday evening at the hospital,” according to troopers.

Bartlett had been with the Ceresco Police Department since 2017. He had also served as a volunteer firefighter and investigator for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.

Before joining the Ceresco police, Bartlett worked for multiple law enforcement agencies across Nebraska, including the Valentine Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Madison Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff Department, and Newman Grove Police Department, his obituary said.

“Ross dedicated his career to law enforcement across Nebraska,” according to his obituary.

The Nissan driver suffered serious injuries, troopers said. The 49-year-old driving the pickup was not seriously injured, according to officers.

McClatchy News is not naming the driver because he has not been charged.

The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating the crash and plans to present the findings to the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office, according to officers.

Ceresco is about a 20-mile drive north of Lincoln.

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