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CHP: Officer Dies Day After Being Struck By Vehicle on I-80

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SACRAMENTO --

After almost two days of fighting to recover from his injuries, CHP Officer Nathan Taylor has died.

Taylor was hit by an SUV as he directed traffic in the Sierra along I-80 Saturday afternoon, after he responded to a crash in the center lane near Castle Peak.  Taylor, outside of his patrol car, went airborne and suffered serious injuries including a broken hip, multiple fractures and a severe head injury.

Taylor died at Renown Hospital in Reno, surrounded by family, friends and a number his fellow CHP officers.

Many who knew Taylor remember him as a model officer and a kind human being. Friend and colleague Chris Nave says its no wonder Taylor was awarded CHP Gold Run's officer of the year in 2015.

"He was just the kind of officer who went above and beyond what he had to do to help people," said Nave.

On more than one occasion, Nave says Taylor helped people stranded along the road and paid hundreds of dollars of his own money for their bus fare home. His effort and attitude earned him more than a few letters of praise from the public.

"We used to tease him that he was writing them himself and changing the font," said Nave.  "...we all just assumed that he was such a tough guy, he was going to pull through."

"He was the kind of guy that if there's a dog that has been hurt and doesn't have owners he would bring the dog home and take care of it," said David Stone, a family friend.

The driver who hit Taylor was a 19-year-old woman. CHP officer Dave Martinez says though it is difficult to think about now, the agency is investigating the incident. Drugs and alcohol have been ruled out as a factor in the crash.

"It's not the weather that causes these accidents, it's the way people are driving in that weather," said Martinez.

"It's a tragic event for everybody involved, and our thoughts and prayers are with this young lady involved in this collision," said Nave.

Flags remained at half staff and chaplains offered spiritual comfort as officers from the Gold Run office, Taylor's home office, come to terms with his death.

For now, the focus remains on Officer Nathan Taylor -- whom a wife, three sons and an entire law enforcement community lost much too soon.