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Wash. state trooper's death caused by toxic chemicals, investigation finds

Wash. state trooper's death caused by toxic chemicals, investigation finds

 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Washington state trooper’s 2018 death has been reclassified as occurring in the line of duty after an investigation determined her fatal cancer was caused by exposure to toxic chemicals during an illegal auto-wrecking investigation.

Trooper S. Renee Padgett was 50 when she died on Sept. 4, 2018, after a long battle with multiple myloma, a rare cancer of the white blood cells.

During Padgett's battle with cancer, KOMO News chronicled her quest to find a bone marrow donor who might be able to save her life.

Her uniformed colleagues held donor drives in Bellevue, Olympia and Spokane. Many soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord also volunteered to see if they were a match. Padgett also received support from some unlikely allies in the Pierce County Jail, where about 40 inmates volunteered to be tested to see if they were a match.

But ultimately, Padgett lost her battle with the disease.

Padgett was a trooper for 27 years, working first in Gig Harbor, then in Bellevue where she was a wrecking-yard trooper. They inspect wrecking yards, scrap processors and hulk haulers.

After her death, a forensic review by state labor officials and the EPA determined Padgett’s cancer was caused by exposure to toxic chemicals.


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