(Photo: Courtesy of Colorado State Patrol)
A Colorado State Patrol cadet who graduated from Windsor High School died Saturday while on a training ride-along, police said.
Taylor Thyfault, 21, was training with CSP Trooper Clinton Rushing, 37, on Saturday morning along Colorado Highway 66 near Weld County Road 1 in Longmont. Troopers a short distance away attempted to stop a 2002 Honda Civic for driving with illegal lights, but the car immediately sped away, Longmont Cmdr. Jeffrey Satur told the Coloradoan.
Down the road, Thyfault and Rushing were preparing to clear an earlier crash scene. When they got word the chase was coming their way, they worked to deploy spike strips. The Honda dodged one set of strips, veered across the road and smashed into Thyfault and Rushing, who were outside of their vehicle, Satur said.
Thyfault was pronounced dead at the scene. Rushing was transported with critical injuries to an area hospital where he was recovering Saturday evening.
Before he was hit, the cadet shouted to another man to jump to safety. That’s when the Honda smashed into him, Satur said.
“The tow truck driver says the cadet saved his life,” he said.
Thyfault played goalie for the Windsor Wizards lacrosse team for several seasons, according to Coloradoan archives. Even while injured in 2011, he was praised for multiple game-saving stops and for playing with a cast on his broken thumb — something reporters at the time said was a testament to “his growing reputation for toughness and grit.”
His Facebook page indicates he moved to Westminster after graduating from Windsor High School in 2012, and he has gone on to attend Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood and serve in the U.S. Army.
The driver of the Honda Civic, Christopher Lee Gebers, 27, was immediately taken into custody. He was medically cleared and booked into the Boulder County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, vehicular homicide, reckless driving and illegal use of blue lights.
The crash closed Colorado Highway 66 for several hours, and detours remained in place for much of the day.
Officers with the Longmont Police Department are leading the investigation. Additional information was not immediately available.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are on the scene of a fatal incident involving two Colorado State Patrol troopers northeast of Longmont. (Photo: Associated Press)