Ohio State Trooper Kenneth Velez Killed

Ohio State Trooper Kenneth Velez was killed by an impaired driver.

Ohio State Trooper Kenneth Velez was killed by an impaired driver.

Ohio State Trooper Kenneth Velez Killed

Cleveland, Ohio – On September 15th around 1 PM Ohio State Trooper Kenneth Velez was killed on I-90 while conducting a traffic stop.

On Friday, Ohio State Highway Patrol released a statement indicating Trooper Kenneth Velez was standing in the interstate’s berm conducting traffic enforcement when a 2015 Hyundai swerved to avoid a collision and ultimately hit Trooper Velez, killing him. That Hyundai was driven by Joshua Gaspar, 37, of Columbia Station, whom we have now learned was driving under the influence of drugs.

Joshua Gaspar was been charged with aggravated vehicular manslaughter and is being held in a Cleveland Jail. It is unclear at this time what drugs Gaspar was impaired by. Reports indicate that Gaspar has a lengthy driving record with 13 convictions, 8 of which were for speeding; others include seat belt violations and running a red light.

“This is a tragedy for the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety,” said Colonel Paul Pride, Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent. “Our prayers go out to the Velez family during this difficult time.”

Trooper Kenneth Velez was 48-years-old, a 27 year veteran, a husband and father of three children.

Too many times Police Officers have been struck and killed conducting traffic stops by someone who was driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Traffic enforcement is a large part of doing Police work and is one of the most dangerous parts of the job. Not only do you have to worry about the car you’ve pulled over but also the traffic and people that surround you.

Now more than ever is the “Move Over” law so important, and its a law we as police officers take seriously.

Joshua Gaspar is set to have a hearing this Saturday.

No funeral arrangements have been set for Trooper Kenneth Velez. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Trooper Kenneth Velez, your life mattered.