Carrollton Police Officer, Driver Killed During DWI Investigation

A Carrollton police officer died after being hit assisting another officer with a DWI investigation Tuesday night.

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A Carrollton police officer who is also a veteran Marine died after being hit while assisting another officer with a DWI investigation late Tuesday night. The driver of the car that hit the officer also died in the crash.

According to the Carrollton Police Department, Officer Steve Nothem had just arrived to assist a fellow officer with a DWI arrest in the westbound lanes of 1905 E. President George Bush Turnpike when his squad car was hit by a passing driver just before 10:30 p.m.

Police said the driver who hit Nothem, 82-year-old Phillip Parker of Carrollton, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Nothem was transported to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano where he was also pronounced dead despite life-saving measures by both his fellow officers and by Carrollton Fire-Rescue, police said.

"Our officer was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead," public safety information manager Jolene DeVito said. "We lost a beloved officer in the line of duty overnight."

DeVito said officers gathered at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Parker Road in Plano waiting on the officer to be transported from there to the Collin County Medical Examiner's office.

According to Carrollton police, Nothem is survived by his wife, a 13-year-old son, twin 6-year-old sons, and a 1-year-old-daughter, as well as many extended family members.

He joined the Carrollton Police Department in March 2020 after serving the Grand Chute Police Department in Wisconsin for four years, police said. Before he began his law enforcement career, Nothem served for many years in the U.S. Marines.

"The one thing I will always remember and have remembered about Steve is I never interacted with Steve when he didn't have a big smile on his face," said Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson.

The Carrollton community is mourning the death of Officer Steve Nothem, the Carrollton Police Department's first line-of-duty fatality.


"He had no enemies. He was a very, very, very kind and gentle young man and was proud to serve his country and proud to serve his community. He wanted to do this. He was passionate about it, it wasn't it wasn't just a job for him," said Steven Nothem, the officer's father.

Nothem, originally from Wisconsin, joined the U.S. Marines Corps after attending Kiel High School in Kiel, Wisconsin.

"I asked him, 'Why do you want to do this?' And he said, 'I want to make a difference, I want to contribute,' and I said, 'but you're going be on the front lines.' And he said, 'I know. That's, that's where I belong. I need to I need to make a difference,'" recalled Steven Nothem as he choked up relaying the story about his son.

He served two tours in Iraq and then continued his service through law enforcement.

Officer Nothem's father said he moved to Texas for warmer weather and also the climate in regard to law enforcement.

"And he chose Texas because it was his opinion that the police, law enforcement, in Texas is a little more well respected than other parts of the country," said Steven Nothem.

He learned of his son's passing at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning when two officers from their local department in Keil rang his doorbell.

“My reaction was, 'Well, this isn't good. Who died?' I didn't really wasn't thinking it was Steven," said Steven Nothem.

It's still under investigation as to what led Parker to crash into the police unit, but even during the grief, Steven Nothem offered condolences.

"So my heart goes out to their family. I'm sure they're grieving as well," he said.

He said what pushed his son every day was to protect the community, which is based on a very personal story.

"Eight or nine years ago, my oldest sister, which would be Steven's aunt, was killed by a drunk driver on Christmas Eve and he always said, 'I'm going to base my career on reducing drunk driving,' he said, fighting back tears.

In the midst of the difficult time, he reflected on the memories shared with his youngest of three, and the fact he always defended the underdog.

"Even in high school. I would get called to the principal's office because he got into some kind of fight and it was always only because he was defending someone who was being bullied, and that's just who he was. That kind of personality carried over to the reason he wanted to go into the service and the reason why he wanted to be a cop," he said.

He said one of his favorite memories was when his son came back from his first tour to Iraq. He flew to Camp Pendleton to meet his son and was shocked there were not many other families there, so he hosted a big party, with permission from officials, for the Marines who came home.

"I went and ordered five half barrels of good ol' Wisconsin beer and bought cups and ordered I think like 30 pizzas, and Steve went and just knocked on all the barracks doors and all these Marines came out and we just had the time of our life. And I think I sent you a picture of that, from that party and it was just one of the greatest things. It was me and not all 500 Marines were able to make it but I'll betcha me and 100 Marines, just celebrating the fact that we live in a free country because of them. So one of my best [moments], that ranks right up there with the birth of my children, so it was awesome," said Nothem who started to choke up at the end.

During that same trip, he recalled when they went to a little league baseball game in California right after his son came back from Iraq and as they watch he thought, "These people are oblivious to the fact that he just was over there, making sure that they could do this. And it was one of those 'aha moments," describe Nothem about his son.

He said he was proud of his son, who is survived by an older brother and sister along with a stepbrother and sister.

"He loved his family more than the typical husband and father in my opinion," said Nothem about his youngest son.

"He was a big, big teddy bear, he did not have a mean word for anybody ever, ever," he said.

Carrollton police said Nothem’s death is the department’s first line of duty death.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Funeral services for Nothem are pending.

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