MAY WE NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICE...

Since the creation of the Colorado State Patrol in 1935, the agency has lost 30 members in the line of duty. These 30 individuals made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to the people of Colorado. Every current and past member of the Colorado State Patrol keeps these individuals and their families in their thoughts each and every day. 

 

 

Deputy Supervisor Arnold B. Gulzow

June 26, 1941

Deputy Supervisor Gulzow was an original member of the Colorado State Highway Courtesy Patrol. Gulzow died of injuries sustained while directing traffic at Red Rocks, west of Denver. On June 22, 1941, Gulzow was riding his motorcycle and passing stopped traffic when a vehicle suddenly made a left turn in front of him. He was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital and due to the severity of his injuries, died on June 26, 1941.

Gulzow entered the Colorado State Patrol on September 23, 1935.

Patrolman Wallace M. McCarty

January 24, 1946

Patrolman McCarty was killed when a truck hit his Patrol car head-on near Hudson on Colorado 6 on January 22, 1946. McCarty was returning to Wray from Denver with Leslie Dale Wells, an automobile dealer. Wells died instantly, and McCarty was taken to Denver General Hospital where he died two days later. An investigation showed the oncoming truck was on the wrong side of the road and weaving when the impact occurred. The truck driver was charged with manslaughter.

McCarty entered the Colorado State Patrol on December 1, 1944

Patrolman Harold M. Bechtelheimer

September 14, 1949

Patrolman Bechtelheimer (”Beck”) was the first Colorado State Patrol Officer to be slain in the line of duty. While patrolling Highway 85-87 north of Colorado Springs, he encountered a speeding green Buick traveling southbound. Before Bechtelheimer approached the driver, the passenger exited the Buick and came around behind Beck, placing a .32 caliber Savage automatic weapon to Beck’s back.

Bechtelheimer spun around and struck the passenger with his flashlight. The passenger then shot Beck in the chest and in the left arm. Beck returned to his patrol car to call for help before dying of his injuries. The two suspects were apprehended that evening north of Colorado Springs. The suspects were later tried and sentenced to life in prison.

Bechtelheimer entered the Colorado State Patrol on December 1, 1944.

Sergeant Wesley Rosette

January 31, 1951

Sergeant Rosette was killed near Price, Utah, in a collision with two trucks. Rosette and Grand Junction Sheriff E.E. Redmon were enroute to pick up a prisoner for extradition to Colorado. They met an eastbound truck passing another eastbound truck. The passing truck cut in too soon and struck the other truck, which swerved in front of the oncoming Sheriff ’s vehicle. The Sheriff was seriously injured, yet survived. Sergeant Rosette was killed instantly.

Rosette entered the Colorado State Patrol on July 18, 1936.

Patrolman Melvin E. Phillips

February 2, 1956

Patrolmen Gresham and Phillips died instantly when their Patrol car was smashed in between two semi trucks seven miles south of Hugo and US 287. The officers had stopped a southbound truck and were issuing clearance to the driver, seated in the Patrol car’s backseat. A truck approached from the rear and collided into the back of the Patrol car, pushing it into the semi. The Patrol car was pushed forward more than 65 feet, and the stopped semi was pushed forward 70 feet with its parking brake set. All were killed instantly. The driver that caused the accident had not applied the brakes prior to impact, and it is suspected he had fallen asleep.

Phillips entered the Colorado State Patrol on November 1, 1954

Patrolman Floyd E. Gresham

February 2, 1956

Patrolmen Gresham and Phillips died instantly when their Patrol car was smashed in between two semi trucks seven miles south of Hugo and US 287. The officers had stopped a southbound truck and were issuing clearance to the driver, seated in the Patrol car’s backseat. A truck approached from the rear and collided into the back of the Patrol car, pushing it into the semi. The Patrol car was pushed forward more than 65 feet, and the stopped semi was pushed forward 70 feet with its parking brake set. All were killed instantly. The driver that caused the accident had not applied the brakes prior to impact, and it is suspected he had fallen asleep.

Gresham entered the Colorado State Patrol on January 3, 1956

Patrolman Richard J. Cahalan

September 28, 1957

Patrolman Cahalan was killed in his Patrol car seven miles west of Kremmling. His Patrol car went off the road down a 50-foot embankment. He may have been forced off the road by an oncoming vehicle, but this was never verified. Cahalan was accompanied by Jack Traux, of the State Game and Fish Department. Traux suffered a broken leg and back injuries. He could  remember some details prior to the accident, but not what had happened during the accident.

Cahalan entered the Colorado State Patrol on November 1, 1948

Corporal Richard C. Edstrom

October 28, 1959

Corporal Edstrom was wounded September 19, 1959 during a gun battle with three fugitives from Aztec, New Mexico. The fleeing car crashed through a Durango roadblock on US 550. The chase was terminated when the wanted car went down a dead-end alley. Two of the three fugitives surrendered, however, the third ran and Edstrom stopped him as he was trying to carjack another vehicle. During the ensuing gun battle, Edstrom was hit twice. Captain Garnand and Officer Stephens of the Durango Police Department opened fire, hitting the suspect five times. He died instantly. Edstrom was hospitalized at Mercy Hospital in Durango, succumbing to his wounds on October 28, 1959.

Edstrom Entered the Colorado State Patrol on May 21, 1951.

Lieutenant Hiram V. Short

July 12, 1961

Lieutenant Short was traveling from his new post in Craig to Castle Rock when he responded to a call for assistance from Colorado Department of Wildlife Offcer Bob Hoover. Hoover had encountered a parked vehicle, and upon contact noticed a rifle, prompting him to check the automobile ownership. the driver pulled out a Walther P38 handgun and shot Grand County Sheriff Chancy Van Pelt, who had also responded to the scene. The driver then shot Short and Hoover. Hoover and Van Pelt survived their injuries, but Short died in surgery. The suspect was spotted two days later by a train crew, later convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment. The suspect died in prison in 1999.

Short entered the Colorado State Patrol on July 16, 1946

Sergeant Albert M. Alcorn

January 23, 1966

Sergeant Alcorn and Patrolman Carhart were killed in an accident while on a normal patrol assignment. Alcorn was conducting a training and evaluation of duty tour to observe rookie Carhart’s performance. Their Patrol car was eastbound on Colorado 72 when it went out of control on a curve. The car ran off the road and rolled. Both offcers were fatally injured. The cause of the accident was never determined.

Alcorn entered the Colorado State Patrol on October 1, 1953

Patrolman Nicholas A. Carhart

January 23, 1966

Sergeant Alcorn and Patrolman Carhart were killed in an accident while on a normal patrol assignment. Alcorn was conducting a training and evaluation of duty tour to observe rookie Carhart’s performance. Their Patrol car was eastbound on Colorado 72 when it went out of control on a curve. The car ran off the road and rolled. Both offcers were fatally injured. The cause of the accident was never determined.

Carhart entered the Colorado State Patrol on November 1, 1965.

Patrolman Gerald R. Williams

December 16, 1967

Patrolman Williams was killed while assisting two motorists near Rocky Ford on Colorado 50. One motorist was out of gas, the other was stuck in the median. As Williams was walking on the roadway, he was hit by a vehicle driven by a man from La Junta. Williams was transported to a hospital in La Junta and was pronounced dead on arrival.

Williams entered the Colorado State Patrol on November 6, 1961

Patrolman Larry B. Enloe

January 8, 1968

Patrolman Enloe was on Interstate 25 north of Trinidad when he stopped a stolen blue station wagon for a traffic violation. While Enloe was seated in his Patrol car, the 16-year old runaway driver shot Enloe with a .38 caliber gun. The driver then stopped another vehicle driven by Sergeant Fink of the US Army. He told Sergeant Fink that he had killed a police officer, and to cooperate otherwise he would kill Fink’s infant child passenger. At a roadblock south of Pueblo, they were allowed to proceed on their way. Fink let the runaway out of the vehicle and then drove back to the roadblock to inform the officers of what had happened. The teenage suspect was caught at a Pueblo hotel. He was later found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 34-50 years in the Colorado State Penitentiary.

Enloe entered the Colorado State Patrol on May 19, 1965.

Patrolman Thomas R. Carpenter

December 27, 1973

Patrolman Carpenter stopped a 1964 Chevrolet on the westbound ramp from Broadway onto Colorado 36. A physical altercation developed between Carpenter and the occupants. It is believed that Carpenter’s service weapon was taken from him and he was kidnapped. At 1000 hours, he gave his location as Interstate 70 and Havana, eight miles out of his assigned area. Shortly after this, Carpenter and his Patrol car were found in a Montbello parking lot. Carpenter had been shot four times with his own weapon from the back seat of his Patrol car. No one was ever charged with his murder, and the case is considered closed due to a lack of evidence. At least one of the prime suspects was later killed in a non-related violent altercation.

Carpenter entered the Colorado State Patrol on April 22, 1968.

Patrolman Richard P. Ross

July 10, 1974

Patrolman Ross was investigating an accident six miles west of Hugo on US 287. After completing his investigation, he backed over a bent delineator post and then pulled forward slightly. The post forced a hole in the trunk of the car and pushed the exhaust pipe into the hole. Ross called a supervisor to report his accident. He left the engine running while he finished the report from the previous accident. Two truck drivers found him unconscious and called for help on the Patrol car radio. Ross was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor from Hugo. Tests indicated he had died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ross entered the Colorado State Patrol on February 25, 1973.

Patrolman Michael H. James

December 18, 1975

Patrolman James stopped a pickup on Westbound Colorado 24 near Limon. While James was running a driver’s license check, the driver assaulted him. James struggled with the driver in an attempt to regain control of the situation, but the driver shot him several times. The driver left James beside the road and disabled the patrol car radio. A short time later a truck driver with a CB called the Limon dispatch office and reported a wounded officer. James was dead by the time the doctor arrived. The driver surrendered nearly three hours later and was convicted of robbery, murder, and being a habitual criminal. He was sentenced to three life terms.

James entered the Colorado State Patrol on May 9, 1971.

Sergeant Willis Hugh Purdy

July 31, 1976

Sergeant Purdy had finished his shift when Greeley dispatchers informed him of severe weather problems in the Big Thompson Canyon. As Purdy proceeded into the canyon, he ordered the evacuation in the lower areas below the canyon, a decision that saved hundreds of lives. Purdy encountered the torrent coming from the Devil’s Gulch tributary of the Big Thompson River and was attempting to turn himself and others away from it. Purdy’s last words to dispatch at 2115 hours were, “I’m stuck, I’m right in the middle of it, I can’t get out…about a half mile east of Drake on the highway. Get the cars out of the low area down below.” Purdy was found on a sand bar eight miles below the point where he was last seen. Purdy’s Patrol car was two miles east of Drake on the bottom of a pile of eight vehicles. The only identifiable thing was the metal key ring still in the ignition.

Purdy entered the Colorado State Patrol on May 22, 1950

Trooper Francis I. Galvin

May 25, 1979

Trooper Galvin was the first female member to die in the line of duty. On May 24, 1979, Galvin was investigating a fatal accident east of Pueblo involving a motorcycle and a car. At 2210 hours Galvin stepped into the roadway to check a small bit of information she needed. She was struck by an eastbound vehicle. Galvin was taken to St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo. She died due to the severity of her injuries on May 25, 1979.

Galvin entered the Colorado State Patrol on October 10, 1977.

Trooper James K. Farris

November 29, 1980

Trooper Farris was killed while pursuing an eastbound traffic violator near Frisco on Interstate 70. During the pursuit, his Patrol car went out of control, ran off the road, and rolled. Farris was wearing his seatbelt, but the force of the rollover was so severe that he received critical injuries. He died a short time later at Summit Medical Center in Frisco.

Farris entered the Colorado State Patrol on August 6, 1979.

Trooper Charles A. Fry

September 26, 1987

Trooper Fry was on routine patrol on Interstate 25 when he contacted a northbound vehicle south of the Douglas County Line. He was issuing a traffc citation when a drunk driver struck Fry as he stood by the vehicle. The drunk driver failed to stop and was later apprehended by another Trooper. The drunk driver was later
convicted of vehicular homicide.

Fry entered the Colorado State Patrol on May 3, 1976

Trooper Joseph A. Ynostroza

December 6, 1989

Trooper Ynostroza died in a head-on collision with a semi-tanker truck east of Alamosa on Highway 160. His Patrol car drifted across the roadway striking the rear wheels of an eastbound gasoline tanker. Investigators believe Ynostroza had fallen asleep at the wheel while en route to his home after attending a Drug Recognition Training Class in Denver. Ynostroza was wearing his seatbelt, and the airbag deployed at the time of the collision. In this particular case, the safety equipment proved inadequate because of the tremendous force of the accident.

Ynostroza entered the Colorado State Patrol on July 1, 1973

Technician Lyle F. Wohlers

November 5, 1992

On November 4, 1992 at 1630 hours, Technician Wohlers contacted a vehicle with two juvenile occupants for a traffc violation one mile east of Georgetown on Interstate 70. After calling for assistance, Wohlers was shot in the head by one of the juveniles. The suspects fled the scene before backup could arrive. At 1900 hours, the two juvenile suspects were arrested as they traveled from Georgetown to Denver. The juveniles were tried as adults and convicted. The juvenile who pulled the trigger was sentenced to life in prison. His accomplice was sentenced to 32 years in prison. Wohlers succumbed to his injuries on November 5, 1992.

Wohlers entered the Colorado State Patrol on October 31, 1966.

Trooper Jason Manspeaker

January 23, 2001

On January 23, 2001, Trooper Manspeaker was responding to a call regarding the possible sighting of two fugitives of the “Texas Seven,” who were wanted for the slaying of an Irving, Texas police officer. After passing eastbound through the Eisenhower Tunnel on dry pavement, Trooper Manspeaker’s vehicle hit the steep, icy off-ramp of U.S. 6, skidding into a “low-boy” trailer legally parked in a snow-covered, dirt pull out. Despite the efforts of another Trooper to resuscitate him, Trooper Manspeaker died of his injuries. Sadly, the vehicle Trooper Manspeaker was seeking did not contain the “Texas Seven” fugitives, but instead was determined to belong to a local construction worker.

Manspeaker entered the Colorado State Patrol on July 12, 1999.

Trooper Zachariah Templeton

October 12, 2007

On October 11, 2007 at approximately 1640 hours Trooper Zachariah Templeton and Trooper Scott Hinshaw were assisting a motorist who had lost one of two plastic farm chemical tanks he was hauling on a flatbed trailer in the median of eastbound I-76, just east of 96th Avenue. A Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by a juvenile eastbound on I-76 approached the scene. Not paying attention to traffic, the juvenile swerved to avoid hitting the significantly slowing vehicles in front of him. Tragically, the juvenile’s maneuver placed him in the median, rear-ending the motorist’s trailer and striking Troopers Templeton and Hinshaw, but missing the motorist they were assisting. Both Trooper Templeton and Trooper Hinshaw suffered serious injuries and were transported to local hospitals. Unfortunately, Trooper Zachariah Templeton succumbed to his injuries on October 12, 2007.

Templeton entered the Colorado State Patrol on July 14, 2003

Trooper Molly Tyler

November 23, 2012

On January 15, 2008, Trooper Tyler was working in the 5C Montrose troop area. During her shift, she was seriously injured when she fell as a result of icy conditions. Subsequent to her injury, she underwent extensive medical treatments to include multiple surgeries. In November 2009, Trooper Tyler medically retired from the State Patrol and on November 23, 2012, Molly succumbed to her injuries and left behind her husband and four children.

Tyler entered the Colorado State Patrol on January 12, 1998

Trooper Taylor Thyfault

May 23, 2015

On May 23, 2015, Trooper Taylor Thyfault was riding along with Trooper Clinton Rushing as part of his ongoing training at the Colorado State Patrol Academy. During the early morning hours, Trooper Thyfault and Trooper Rushing responded to a three-car crash on Colorado Highway 66. Shortly after 8:00 a.m., another State Trooper attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of I-25 and Colorado Highway 66, approximately 3 miles from the crash scene. The suspect eluded the trooper and drove towards the crash scene where Trooper Rushing was waiting to deploy stop-sticks. The suspect hit Trooper Rushing and Trooper Thyfault while eluding the pursuing trooper. Seconds before he was struck, Trooper Thyfault instructed a tow truck driver to move and take cover to avoid being hit by the fleeing suspect. Trooper Rushing suffered serious bodily injury, while Trooper Thyfault succumbed to his injuries instantly at the scene.

Thyfault entered the Colorado State Patrol March 16, 2015.

Trooper Jaimie Jursevics

November 15, 2015

During the evening of November 15, 2015, Trooper Jaimie Jursevics stopped her patrol vehicle on the inside shoulder of I-25 south of Castle Rock in an effort to protect the scene of a previous crash being investigated by a fellow Trooper. At approximately 2045 hours, Trooper Jursevics was notified of a possible drunk driver headed southbound on I-25. Trooper Jursevics made contact with the reporting party and learned the suspect vehicle was approaching her
location. Trooper Jursevics immediately began attempts to flag down the suspect vehicle from outside her patrol car. Moments later, the reported drunk driver collided with Trooper Jursevics, killing her instantly. The suspect vehicle fled the scene, but was apprehended by the Palmer Lake Police Department approximately 15 miles from the crash scene. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal crash, driving under the influence, and several other offenses.

Jursevics entered the Colorado State Patrol on January 9, 2011.

Trooper Cody Donahue

November 25, 2016

On November 25, 2016, Trooper Cody Donahue was assisting with the investigation of a previous motor vehicle crash along northbound I-25 near Castle Rock in Douglas County, Colorado. While he stood on the right shoulder of the interstate, a commercial motor vehicle struck Trooper Donahue, killing him instantly.

Donahue entered the Colorado State Patrol on June 30, 2005

Corporal Daniel Groves

March 13, 2019

On March 13, 2019, Corporal Daniel Groves stopped to assist a motorist that had slid-off the roadway on westbound Interstate 76 near Roggen, Colorado during a significant winter storm. Moments after exiting his patrol car, Corporal Groves was struck by an out of control westbound vehicle. Corporal Groves was transported to a local hospital, but he was declared deceased a short while after arrival.

Groves entered the Patrol on July 16, 2007.

Master Trooper William Modén

June 14, 2019

On June 14, 2019, Master Trooper William Modén was investigating a previous crash on Interstate 70 near Deer Trail, Colorado. While completing his on scene investigation and documenting roadway evidence, Master Trooper Modén was struck by a passing vehicle. Master Trooper Modén was transported to a local hospital, but he was declared deceased a short while after arrival.

Modén entered the Patrol on January 8, 2007

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