A Washington State Patrol trooper died Tuesday after he was struck by a car while deploying spike strips on Interstate 5 in Chehalis.
Justin R. Schaffer, 28, had worked for the state patrol for seven years, according to WSP. His father, Glenn Schaffer, is Chehalis’ police chief.
Schaffer earned a criminal justice degree at Centralia College before going to work for WSP in the property management division in 2013, according to WSP. He went on to become a K-9 handler in 2018 after assuming a number of other positions, then was assigned to Chehalis in December 2018.
Schaffer is the 30th WSP trooper to die in the line of duty, according to WSP.
“In his last moments on the earth, he was wearing the uniform of the Washington State Patrol. We must pause and reflect on the character of each of the men and women we have lost over the years,” WSP Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “Like Justin, they each served as one of the state’s guardians and each day of their work, they walked into unknown dangers with well-known courage.”
Schaffer is survived by his wife, Sandra; mother and father, Sheila and Glenn; his brother, Brandon; and his K-9 partner, Frankie.
A memorial service date is pending as WSP makes arrangements to honor Schaffer in light of restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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