Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Department of Corrections (DOC) Corrections Officer Nathanial “Nathan” Poulopoulos died in a two-vehicle crash as he was driving to work on Tuesday afternoon.
The wreck occurred at about 12:18 p.m. on Oct. 29 as the 28-year-old corrections officer was traveling northbound on U.S. 95, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Corrections Officer Poulopoulos collided with the back of a slow-moving Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) truck near the Snow Mountain Road exit.
The NDOT truck was traveling in the left shoulder, shadowing another DOT vehicle that was clearing debris and dirt from the roadway.
Corrections Officer Poulopoulos died at the scene from blunt-force injuries, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The driver of the NDOT truck he struck suffered minor injuries.
“The NDOT vehicle’s lights were on, and it appears that the NDOT worker was following department safety policies,” NDOT spokesperson Tony Illia told the Las Vegas Sun.
Corrections Officer Poulopoulos was on his way to work at the Three Lakes Valley Conservation Camp in Indian Springs when the collision occurred, DOC spokesperson Scott Kelley said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
He had been with the department for 16 months.
Corrections Officer Poulopoulos was also a sergeant in the Nevada Army National Guard, according to a post on the organization's official Facebook page.
He enlisted in 2008, while he was still in high school.
After his graduation the following year, Corrections Officer Poulopoulos was deployed to Afghanistan as a cavalry scout.
In 2016, he deployed to Kuwait, where he served as a behavioral health specialist.
“Poulopoulos was known among his peers, subordinates and officers alike as a witty, intelligent, caring person who was as quick with a joke as he was to help a comrade,” the National Guard’s post read. “This cheerful attitude contributed much to his work in behavioral health while deployed.”
“He had a sense of adventure and a thirst to learn, never content with staying [idle] for long and always seeking opportunities to experience life to its fullest,” the post continued. “His determination to support others and uplifting demeanor will be sorely missed in the ranks of the Nevada National Guard.”
Corrections Officer Poulopoulos received multiple commendations and awards for his military service.
“Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow Soldiers who are in the grief of his loss,” the National Guard’s post read. “We are grateful and honored to have had a Soldier in our ranks to touch countless in such a short life. We will miss you, Sgt. Pops.”
Corrections Officer Poulopoulos and his fiancé, Ashley Peabody, were planning to get married on January 23, 2021, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“Sometimes I’m not feeling anything, and sometimes I’m feeling it all,” Peabody said of her fiancé’s tragic death.
She described Corrections Officer Poulopoulos as a caring, creative man who enjoyed helping others.
“He really put a lot of effort into people’s mental health,” Peabody told the paper. “[He was a] big-brother type.”
The couple has two daughters from previous relationships, five-year-old Serana and 10-year-old Esmae, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
A fundraising page established to help Peabody and the couple’s daughters in the wake of their loss has raised over $7,300.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Nevada Department of Corrections Officer Nathanial “Nathan” Poulopoulos, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.