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Family of fallen DPS Trooper raising funds for memorial highway sign as 2nd anniversary of death nears

Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 21:36:58-04

TEMPLE. TX — Nearly two years after Trooper Thomas Nipper was killed on the side of Interstate 35, his family is working to make sure that although he is gone, he is not forgotten.

Trooper Nipper died on Nov. 4, 2017, after a pickup truck hit his patrol car while he was making a traffic stop on I-35.

"My dad had been making a traffic stop. He had just gotten back into his car when a pickup truck had hit him from behind and he didn't make it," Nipper's daughter Lori said.

The death of Trooper Thomas Nipper shook the Central Texas community.

"Something like this happens, and it really makes you think about the sacrifices that they make and how they put their life on the line," Lori said.

Trooper Nipper served in law enforcement for 43 years, 35 of which were with the the Texas Highway Patrol.

"He graduated high school, went to college to get a degree so he could become an officer, and that was his legacy and so we want to honor that and all the hard work that he did," Lori said.

The Nipper family is now working to raise money through a "Thank a First Responder" fundraiser to help put highway dedication signs at the accident site on I-35.

"I think it is important because one, it honors my dad. He gave a lot to Bell County. He spent most of his law enforcement career in Bell County, and I think it's a great way to honor him, and it's a great reminder of his sacrifice," Lori said. "Law enforcement officers don't get thanked very often, and I think it's important that we thank them for the sacrifices they make and that they just hear that the community is thankful for what they do."

The signs are roughly $25,000. So far the Nipper's have raised about $600.

If you would like to help the Nipper family with their mission to honor their loved one, you can head out to several different restaurants across Temple and Belton on Nov. 2.

The list of restaurants that have agreed to donate a portion of proceeds include:

  • J Neely's Burrito Bar
  • Jersey Mikes Subs
  • Fuzzy's Taco Shop
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Chili's
  • Chick-Fil-A

Pizza, Wings & Things will also be raising money on Nov. 4, which is the anniversary of Trooper Nipper's death.

To learn more about how you can help, you can follow the Senior Trooper Tom Nipper Memorial Facebook Page.