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 cancer. 

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, King 5 reports.

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