PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (CBS) – New Hampshire State Police Staff Sgt. Jesse Sherrill was killed early Thursday morning when a tractor-trailer slammed into his cruiser in Portsmouth.

It happened around 12:30 a.m. near Exit 5 on the northbound side of Interstate 95.

Staff Sgt. Jesse Sherrill. (Image Credit: New Hampshire State Police)

Sherrill was working a construction detail while crews installed a rumble strip on the road when his cruiser was hit. The veteran trooper was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital but did not survive.

“It’s one of the most dangerous aspects of the job. Anytime you’re on the side of the highway,” said Beverly Police Chief John LeLacheur, a former coworker.

The tractor-trailer involved has a logo from the Lay’s potato chip company. Police said the driver was taken to the hospital but later released.

A New Hampshire State Police trooper was hit by a tractor-trailer in Portsmouth. (Courtesy Photo)

Sherrill started with Hooksett Police in 2001 and was hired by New Hampshire State Police in 2002.

“Staff Sgt. Sherrill was known as a trooper’s trooper, a consummate dedicated professional and a true family man,” State Police Col. Nathan Noyes said at a press conference.

Gov. Chris Sununu ordered all flags on all public buildings to fly at half staff through Sunday.

“He was an individual who nobly answered that call to service. And who was steadfast and devoted to the safety and well-being of all of his fellow Granite Staters,” Sununu said.

The New Hampshire Police Association released a statement following Sherrill’s death, saying “Words fail us on days like this.”

“This was a tragedy that highlights the dangers of our profession and reminds everyone about the need to travel with care and safety in mind,” the organization said. “Our best wishes go out to our brothers and sisters in the NH State Police during this difficult time. Sgt. Sherrill, we honor you and thank you for your service.”

CBSBoston.com Staff