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Louisiana: State Trooper Dies After Being Struck by Cruiser During Pursuit

A Louisiana State trooper whose superiors say exemplified "selfless service" and "personal courage” died Sunday after being injured during a police chase in Hammond last week. He was 33.

Trooper George Baker was among several law officers who were helping Hammond Police stop a vehicle that had taken off during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning.

Authorities said Baker and another trooper had placed a tire deflating device in the road, which caused the fleeing vehicle to crash. But as the troopers were removing the device from the road, a Hammond Police vehicle struck them.

Baker was critically injured in the crash and died at a hospital. The other trooper was later released from the hospital with minor injuries, officials said.

Baker is the first State Police trooper to die in the line of duty since 2015 and is the 30th in the agency's history, according to the department.

"Trooper Baker passed today leaving our hearts heavy but full of pride as he exemplified our values of duty, selfless service, and personal courage,” State Police Superintendent Colonel Kevin Reeves said in a statement Sunday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote in a tweet Sunday that Baker served the state with honor and dedication.

"His selfless commitment to his fellow Louisianans represents the best of us and he continues to serve even after his passing by having his organs donated to help others in need," Edwards wrote. "His courage and bravery will never be forgotten."

Baker had served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, which saw him deploy on a combat tour in the Middle East.

He began his career in law enforcement serving four years with the Greensburg Police Department and the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office for three years before joining the Louisiana State Police.

The incident that led to Baker's death started after a Hammond police tried stopping a vehicle that had fled from the 2700 block of West Thomas Street just after 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to authorities.

Nathan Anding, 18, and Taylor Cox, 26, are accused of instigating the chase and officials said they fled on foot after crashing.

Anding was arrested Wednesday on counts of obstruction of justice, hit and run, negligent injuring, driving without a license, switched license plates, domestic abuse battery, aggravated obstruction of a highway, aggravated criminal damage to property, resisting an officer and possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

Cox was arrested Thursday on counts of obstruction of justice and resisting an officer.

The agency has also started a fundraiser on its website with proceeds benefiting Baker's family.

State Police say Baker will be given full honors at his memorial service, which hasn't been set.

He is survived by his wife, Heather, their daughter, Harper, his parents, his sisters and his extended family.

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