Natural Resources Officer Luke D. Nihart Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Law Enforcement Division Kansas End of Watch: Saturday, June 26, 2010

 

Patch image: Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Law 
Enforcement Division, Kansas

Natural Resources Officer Luke D. Nihart
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Law Enforcement Division
Kansas

End of Watch: Saturday, June 26, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 32
Tour of Duty: 11 years
Badge Number: 1247

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Accidental
Date of Incident: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Officer Luke Nihart was killed in an ATV accident while working the Country Stampede music festival at Tuttle Creek State Park.
He was entering the parking area of a Department of Wildlife and Parks office when his ATV flipped over at approximately 3:20 am. He was transported to Mercy Regional Health Center where he succumbed to his injuries two hours later.
Officer Nihart had served with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks for 11 years. His is survived by his wife and two young children.

Agency Contact Information
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Law Enforcement Division
300 SW Wanamaker
Topeka, KS 66606
Phone: (785) 273-6740

A 32-year-old officer at Tuttle Creek State Park died early Saturday in an all-terrain vehicle crash at the Country Stampede near Manhattan, becoming the second fatality at the country music festival this week, authorities said.

The fatality victim was identified as Luke D. Nihart, of St. George, an 11-year veteran of Kansas Wildlife and Parks.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Nihart was riding a 2004 Yamaha Grizzly 660 ATV at the time of the crash, which occurred at 3:20 a.m. Saturday at Tuttle Creek State Park.

The patrol said Nihart entered a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks parking lot on River Pond Road at a high rate of speed before he lost control and rolled the ATV.

Nihart, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, was taken by ambulance to Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan, where he was pronounced dead at 5:20 a.m.

In 2005, Nihart received a commendation for valor shown in a water rescue on Tuttle Creek in which he and another ranger exposed themselves to dangerous conditions to rescue boaters caught in a severe thunderstorm on the lake.

Concert officials asked the thousands of fans in attendance to observe a moment of silence in tribute to Nihart before the featured event of the evening, the Montgomery Gentry performance.

Early Thursday before the festival opened, another festival attendee Jacob D. Kreutzer, 19, of Beaver Crossing, Neb., died from what the Shawnee County Coroner’s office said was an unexplained internal injury. Kreutzer died while being rushed by ambulance to a Manhattan hospital.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff Greg Riat is asking anyone who might have been at the Stampede campground with information about Kreutzer’s death to call the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s office at (785) 457-3353.

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