In Memory of....


Since its inception in 1949, the Nevada Highway Patrol has had 5 Troopers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They are gone but not forgotten. This page is dedicated to their memory.

IN MEMORY OF Trooper Kara Kelly-Borgognone

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Kara Kelly-Borgognone passed away on February 26, 2008. Trp. Kelly-Borgognone, 33, was involved in a motor vehicle accident on February 25, 2008.

Trp. Kelly-Borgognone was responding to assist in a bomb scare around 10 p.m. when her Ford Crown Victoria patrol car was struck at an intersection by a Chevrolet sport utility vehicle.

As an organ donor, she was kept on life support until doctors found suitable recipients and completed harvesting her organs. As a final act of selfless service, she wanted to help others live longer lives and better lives.

Trooper Kelly-Borgognone had been a trooper for two years. She and her husband Dirk, have two young daughters, Blair, 13, and Ashlyn, 3. Her brother, Chris Kelly, is also a trooper with the NHP and is assigned to the Reno area.

During her tenure with Parole and Probation she received the Medal of Valor. The Highway Patrol Division awarded Trp. Kelly-Borgognone the Purple Heart posthumously.

Trooper Kelly-Borgognone was with the Parole and Probation Division for eight years prior to transferring to the Highway Patrol.

And so, we honor a true hero, a woman of extraordinary character who dedicated her life to this community and made it a better place for all of us to live. To all who wear a badge, rededicate yourself to this profession, because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s the most important job you will ever do, and because it will honor Kara Kelly-Borgognone and all those who have fallen in the line of duty.

IN MEMORY OF Trooper Carlos J. Borland

The NHP Family Mourns a Hero by Trooper Greg Roehm

"6432... attempt to locate gas skip from Trinity truck stop." The vehicle was described as a red Chevrolet Blazer with unknown license plates traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 from Trinity. Carlos Borland, in his first year as a trooper with the Nevada Highway Patrol, acknowledged the ATL while working swing shift alone in the Lovelock area.

This is how it all began in the early evening hours on November 30, 1993. Trooper Borland eventually located the suspect vehicle and at 8:54 p.m. advised Reno NHP communications that he would be stopping the vehicle on I-80 eastbound at mile post 108, just east of Lovelock. Trooper Borland was unaware that the driver of the suspect vehicle was a fugitive who previously escaped from a North Carolina prison. Only four days prior, he had allegedly murdered two people in a robbery attempt in the state of Texas. Trooper Borland was also unaware that the Blazer was stolen.

The driver, Michael Sonner, stole a set of Tennessee license plates from another vehicle that closely matched the Blazer that Sonner had previously stolen. The stolen license plates had yet to be entered into NCIC. Prior to effecting the traffic stop, Trooper Borland requested a registration check on the Tennessee plates; however, due to the lack of an NCIC entry, he was not given any information that would arouse additional suspicion.

Having only information that the vehicle was involved in a misdemeanor theft of $22 worth of gasoline, Trooper Borland stopped the stolen Blazer and approached the Driver. Sonner later told investigators that he had already made the decision upon seeing the red and blue lights that he would murder the trooper who approached him. Shortly after Borland approached the fugitive, Sonner fired a round from a .38 caliber revolver into Borland's head. Sonner sped off as Trooper Borland fell on the highway. A tractor trailer driver saw what had occurred and stopped to assist. Reno NHP communications then heard a disturbing message from an unrecognizable voice, a message that one of our own lay critically injured on the highway...

...Despite heroic attempts to save the life of the rookie trooper, at 3:05 a.m. on December 1, 1993. Trooper Carlos J. Borland, at 25 years of age, became the fourth NHP trooper to die in the line of duty...

...The most intensive manhunt in the history of the NHP followed the shooting of Trooper Borland. The 25 hour search included officers from nine law enforcement agencies, police dogs, SWAT teams and heat sensitive helicopters...

...At approximately 10 p.m. the same day, Sonner was located and confronted by officers, including SWAT team members of the Reno Police Department... The brief standoff ended with the capture of the man...


IN MEMORY OF Trooper Daniel Mark Peterson

"OFFICER DOWN!" By Trooper Roger Vind, Trooper Stewart Handte and Amy Bellfi

The evening of June 5 started out just like any other. By all accounts, it was a routine shift for Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) troopers out on the road. Then, suddenly, an unfamiliar voice was heard over the NHP frequency, adding solemn confirmation to the message it had to send: "Officer down!"

As Reno dispatch frantically began a search for the injured trooper, remaining on-duty troops attempted to gain their composure and smooth the lumps from their throats as the came face to face with the realization of the hazards of the job.

...Trooper Daniel Mark Peterson, in his fourth year with NHP, had made a routine traffic stops on I-80 westbound near Sparks Boulevard. He was approaching the driver's side of the violator's vehicle when he was struck from behind by a Ford Bronco allegedly operated by a drunken driver. Ironically, this driver had previous law enforcement experience in California.

...Unknown to the troopers responding to Dan's location, the driver and co-driver of the semi-tractor trailer that Dan had stopped quickly reacted when they saw the trooper lying in the number two travel lane. They split-up: One attended to Dan and protected him from oncoming traffic, and the other ran to Dan's patrol unit, immediately keyed the mike and provided the undesirable, yet necessary, message, "Officer down!"

...It was learned that he vehicle that had struck Dan had stopped a short distance east of the accident location. Troopers and investigative officers from Sparks Police Department made contact with the driver of the vehicle. This eventually lead to the arrest of the driver for felony drunken driving.

Dan was rushed to the trauma unit at the Washoe Medical Center. He underwent emergency surgery the following morning for treatment of his injuries. Subsequently, he was transferred to the intensive care unit where he spent almost two weeks putting up a brave and valiant fight for his life. His body finally gave out on June 18. ...On Monday, June 22, a memorial service was held at St. Theresa of the Little Flower Church in Reno. ... Uniformed officers from New Hampshire to California made up one of the largest honor guards for a fallen officer ever witnessed by these authors.


IN MEMORY OF Gary Vance Gifford

NHP's First Duty Related Death

The death Tuesday of Nevada Highway Patrol officer Gary Vance Gifford, 29 marks the first time in the 26 year history of the NHP that an officer was killed in the line of duty.

Gifford first joined the NHP in July 1969 and had resigned for a period of a few months earlier this year to take the post of assistant chief of the Fallon Police Department. He was reinstated to the patrol in July and was assigned to the Incline Village area where he made his home.

He was patrolling the South Shore Lake Tahoe area Tuesday when he made a routine traffic stop just west of the Cave Rock tunnel. He was shot in the back of the head by a person he stopped, a suspect in a Round Hill Mall Bank robbery.

A native of San Francisco, he served four years in the U.S. Navy before joining the NHP. Gifford, who was divorced, is survived by a son, James, 5: his parents Vance and Edith Gifford of Foster City, Calif.; and a sister, Pamela Vogt of Fremont Calif.

NEVADA APPEAL: October 15, 1975