A young Cadet Trooper tragically lost his life whilst on duty. He was a shining example of moral courage. To cope with the loss of her beloved son, his mom would text him on his old phone as she did when he was alive. One day she received a text back…
Taylor Thyfault, 21, was a young man who embraced life with both arms. He was determined to make a success of his time here on earth. He had made a list of 25 goals that he intended to achieve. He did not wish for riches but rather for a meaningful life for himself and especially for others. There was one goal that stood out above all others, and that was “to save a life.”
Mom, Carole Adler, and Thyfault maintained a strong bond and kept in close contact through daily texting. She was the last person to text him on May 23, 2015, the morning before he died.
Cadet Trooper Thyfault was undergoing training with the Colorado State patrol when Thyfault and Trooper Clinton Rushing were called out to assist in a crash investigation on Highway 66. At the same time, police were involved in chasing down a man named Christopher Gebers, who was escaping a traffic stop.
Gebers’s car dodged the stop sticks that the Troopers had deployed and crashed into the two Troopers, killing Thyfault. Rushing was critically injured. According to ABC News, Thyfault had half a second to get out of the way as the car raced towards him, but he did not run away. Instead, he managed to get a tow truck driver away from the scene to safety.
Thyfault was pronounced dead at the scene. Adler told KUSA News, “Every day, it hits me like a ton of bricks when I can’t text him.” Adler considers her son a hero.
“And if you asked him, he’d do it again, because he sacrificed himself, for someone else,” Adler said. “He lived, he dreamed and breathed that.”
To help Adler cope with her tremendous grief, she texted her son’s old phone number with messages of love expressing how much she missed having him around. She thought that the number was discarded, oblivious to the fact that someone was indeed reading them.
Sergeant Kell Hulsey from the Greeley Police Department was given Thyfault’s number when he received a new phone. At first, he ignored the texts from Adler, thinking that somebody had the wrong number. As Hulsey read the incoming messages, his heart was so moved that he texted back, identified himself, and said: “I don’t think your texts are going where you think they are.”
Carole texted him saying that she was Taylor Thyfault’s mom. Hulsey was surprised to hear her story and even offered to change the number. Adler asked him to keep the number as he is doing the job Thyfault always had dreamed of doing. Carole occasionally texts Hulsey, reminding him to be safe, and also inquires about his well-being.
[Thyfault is] still trying to make a difference,” Sgt. Hulsey said.
Thyfault’s name was added to the national memorial to fallen officers. Christopher Gebers was found guilty of murder in September of 2016 and sentenced to life.
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