Our local police officers deserve a thank you any time we see them. They have a job that is extremely tough and extremely scrutinized. Saying a thank you to these men and woman in uniform is a simple gesture we can all do when we see them in public. Remember, too, that these men are woman are our neighbors with loved ones who care about them. That's why this kind of news is never easy to let you know about as a Smith County deputy was killed during a routine traffic stop.

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Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith has confirmed that a Smith County deputy has passed away. The officer and his partner were conducting a routine traffic stop on Highway 155 South when the officers were struck by a drunk driver. That driver, 21-year-old Daniel Nyabuto, was arrested and charged with intoxicated assault but will be upgraded to intoxication manslaughter. A passenger in that vehicle was also charged with public intoxication.

The officer who passed away was in what is called the ghost phase of training. The officer was on his final day of training.

The officer who passed was married and the father of a 4 and a 5-year-old.

Keep this officer's family in your prayers. We do not know his name but God will know who we are praying for and that's what matters. As I stated above, our police and sheriffs officers do a job that we would not be able to do. They all deserve the upmost respect and thanks for what they do every day.

This is an evolving story and we will keep you updated as soon as we get the official news from the Smith County Sheriff's department.

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