21 Year Old Trooper Cadet Murdered During Vehicle Pursuit

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor


Taylor Thyfault
Taylor Thyfault

We read with sadness of an aspiring young man who lost his life while he and his critically wounded field training officer attempted to spike strip a vehicle fleeing during a pursuit.

Army Veteran Taylor Thyfault died Memorial Day Weekend. He was twenty one years of age. His FTO Trooper Clinton Rushing received critical injuries.

The tragedy reportedly occurred when, according to police, Christopher Lee Gebers was attempting to elude pursuing police vehicles when he happened along an unrelated accident scene that Trooper Rushing and Cadet Thyfault were processing. The collision occurred on Highway 66 in Weld County. It began when Gerbers allegedly sped away from a traffic stop for speeding. Both men were hit while attempting to spike Gebers’ vehicle in an attempt to end the pursuit.

Clinton Rushing
Clinton Rushing

Gebers’ driver license is suspended and he has convictions for theft, drug possession, and weapons violations. He stands charged with First Degree Murder with Extreme Indifference, First Degree Assault, Vehicular Eluding, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture, and other felonies.

Tow Truck Driver Rusty Melvin who was removing another vehicle at the prior accident scene informed reporters he was walking around his truck to secure a car when Cadet Taylor shouted for him to get out of the road, possibly saving Melvin’s life as Gebers’ vehicle drove down upon them and both officers were struck.

taylor-thyfault-armyDuring funeral services, after which a twenty mile procession followed, Cadet Thyfault was posthumously promoted to Trooper. Trooper Rushing faces a long recovery from his injuries.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for those doing the Honorable gesture of donating to families of both men. Contributions may be made to:

Troopers Thyfault and Rushing, GoFundMe Page

By Darren Smith


New York Daily News
Colorado State Patrol (Photo Credits)
Twitter (Photo Credit)
Officer Down Memorial Page

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

23 thoughts on “21 Year Old Trooper Cadet Murdered During Vehicle Pursuit”

  1. Lol so much for free speech on here.

    You can’t hold a certain opinion if Darren Smith talks about police.


  2. I guess that it’s Free Computer Sunday in the asylum tonight. Looks like somebody hasn’t had the meds that keep him in balance yet. And, by the way, your previous comments were deleted. Do you see them? Probably a loaded question. I assume that you see a lot of things not apparent to anyone else.

  3. “Anarchist 2.0 had its comments, celebrating the death of the two officers, deleted. Great. Looks like the moderators are on the ball.”

    my comments weren’t deleted. . .Probably because they were so reasonable. Americans should provide no sympathy or support to cops. Currently, law enforcement acts like an occupying military force ruling by brutality. They are the scum of the earth and they don’t merit the support of the American public.

  4. It sounds like his last act saved the tow truck driver’s life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, and with the recovering trooper.

    Police officers put their lives in danger trying to keep the rest of us safe from thoughtless, selfish, reckless criminals such as this. I honor his sacrifice, and that of his fellow trooper, who was seriously injured.

  5. Stories like this make me wish I was the kind of person who could just tune this stuff out and live my life without worrying about anything more than who won last nights American Idol. Such a waste.

  6. Anarchist 2.0 had its comments, celebrating the death of the two officers, deleted. Great. Looks like the moderators are on the ball.

  7. fiver

    The 21 year old does not have a 5 year old or 3 year old. They were the children of the other trooper.

    You’re welcome.

  8. One of the toughest professions in the world. Like our soldiers, one must wonder if he/she will live another day.
    We all rely and need good police protectors in our lives and need to tell them so. Like teachers, soldiers, and many others, in today’s world, there is very little respect or appreciation.

    God rest his soul and protect our first responders.

  9. Teachermom. Here is a thought from a kid who couldn’t stand to learn all the rules of English as taught in grade school. Turns out he got the meaning of statements, and conveyed meaning in statements,that did not comply with the rules. For instance, I would easily assimilate the name reference for the “Cadet”, probably stopping at Cadet because there was only one in the story. In any event, many get it outside the rules, and if communication is the objective, not the form thereof, success is had.
    Sorry, but it has bugged me for over 50 years, and you named the tune for the dance.

  10. How awful. Twenty-one years old with a 5 year old and 3 year old. Fortunately, he appears to have been posthumously promoted to full trooper so I’m hopeful this means his family will be eligible for full benefits.

    The GoFundMe drive seems to have slowed down with only one anonymous donation today and two yesterday. That might pick up, but it still doesn’t look like near enough money yet to take care of his family.

  11. I’m sure that the law clerk, from the other article, would post a comment stating that she only felt sorrow for the spike strip.

    This is just a reminder of how very dangerous it can be for officers on a daily basis, even when they are doing relatively routine tasks. Condolences to the family that lost a loved one and wishes for a speedy recovery for the other injured officer.

  12. I too feel sad upon reading this, but wish that the writer had proofread before posting. First he refers to the deceased cadet as Cadet Thyfault, but then refers to him as Cadet Taylor, which was his first name. Then he says they were attempting “to spike Thyfault’s vehicle.” Weren’t they trying to spike the vehicle of Gebers or Gerbers (spelled both ways), the fleeing criminal? I think Darren Smith, the writer, owed it to these officers to at least do a careful job writing about this horrific incident.

    1. teachermom7 – there are no editors or grammar checkers for the writers of the blogs here. If you stay long enough you will get past it. 😉

  13. From the statement of Gerber background and what they found in the car with him and the suspended driver’s license, he was looking at serious time. Hence the need for speed. RIP Trooper Thyfault.

  14. Very well said Annie. We are reminded daily that those men and women that take an oath to protect and serve do so in an ever increasingly dangerous world. May God bless them and watch over them and their families.

  15. Very sad, way too young. Dangerous job with much risk. Bless those who do and do it well.

  16. Darren, Thanks much for this post. I am honored to make a contribution to the fund, and pray for the families.

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