Danville, KY – Boyle County Sheriff’s K9 Nikki was killed in the line of duty when the patrol SUV being driven by her handler was struck by a pickup truck on New Year’s Eve.
Danville police said that K9 Nikki’s handler, Boyle County Sheriff’s Captain Casey McCoy, was making a left turn from the Danville Bypass onto Commerce Street at about 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 31 when his department-issued vehicle was struck by a pickup truck driven by 21-year-old George Ellison, WTVQ reported.
Capt. McCoy, Ellison, and Ellison’s passenger were all transported to Ephriam McDowell Emergency Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
K9 Nikki, a nine-year-old Belgian Malinois, succumbed to her injuries from the crash and died at the Animal Hospital of Danville, WHAS reported.
Capt. McCoy was treated for an injury to his hand and later released from the hospital.
“The Danville Police Department extend our most sincere condolences to our family at the Boyle County Sheriff's Office, as well as the McCoy family. K-9 Nikki has served this community faithfully for years and those efforts will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Nikki, you did your job well and will forever have our gratitude,” Danville PD posted on its official Facebook page.
Danville police are investigating the crash, WTVQ reported.
“She will probably be the last one listed for the fallen officers in Kentucky this year and it’s just one of the sad things we hate to see,” Danville Police Sergeant Brandon Record said.
Boyle County Sheriff Derek Robbins said K9 Nikki, who had been with the sheriff’s department for seven years, was the best drug-sniffing dog the department had ever had, WLEX reported.
"It's not just a loss for Casey's family and the Sheriff's Office, but it's a loss for the entire community, because that dog did good things for this community. She is irreplaceable," Sheriff Robbins. "I could buy another dog, but you cannot replace that kind of bond, and what she's done for this community."
The sheriff also talked about how devastated Capt. McCoy was and how tight his bond had been with his K9, WLEX reported.
"He literally spends 24 hours a day, seven days a week with that dog,” Sheriff Robbins explained. “When he leaves in the morning he leaves his family, but he takes the dog with him. When he comes home to his family he still has the dog. That dog is with him all the time, and it’s hard to describe the bond that you have with that dog."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy McCoy in the loss of K9 Nikki.