Officer Down: Trooper Zachariah Templeton
Officer Down: Trooper Zachariah Templeton - [Denver, Colorado]
Colo. trooper hit on I-76 dies
By Mike McPhee and Kirk Mitchell
DENVER, Colo. - One of two state troopers hit by a pickup truck while trying to help another driver on Interstate 76 died Friday.
Trooper Zachariah Templeton, 27, died Friday evening at Denver Health Medical Center, the station reported. Trooper Scott Hinshaw, 38, remained in serious condition, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
"As a family, if you will, state patrol, it's particularly tough when it's somebody within your department, that's one of your own, that wears the same uniform," Sgt. John Hahn, unit commander for the public affairs section of the state patrol, told 9News.
The troopers had stopped along I-76 on Thursday afternoon to help Terence Rice, 65, of Erie, who said one of two plastic agricultural tanks he was hauling on a trailer was jostling around.
"All of a sudden, I hear a screech and a bang, and another truck hit the rear of my trailer," Rice said Friday. "I couldn't see the troopers when the dust settled."
The driver of the Ford F-150, a 17-year-old, has not been identified. He was not injured.
"He seemed to be pretty shook up," Rice said of the teenage driver.
Templeton had been with the State Patrol since 2003.
Templeton is survived by his 3-year-old daughter, Samantha, his mother and father Teresa and Doug Templeton, and his girlfriend Holly. He joined the patrol in 2003.
"Templeton was best described by fellow troopers and supervisors as an individual with a big heart and willingness to help others," the State Patrol said in a statement. "It is that desire to serve which lead Templeton to respond to the call of a fellow officer."
Copyright 2007 The Denver Post