Eagle County remembers Trooper Jaimie Jursevics
EAGLE — Eric Hill, of the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, remembers spending some cold, snowy nights in the company of Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jaimie Jursevics as they braved icy conditions along Interstate 70 at accident scenes.
“She was also good to be around when you were on a scene. She would always have a big smile on her face,” Hill said.
Hill said Jursevics was quick-witted and could more than hold her own while emergency services personnel engaged in their on-scene banter. She was a great professional, Hill said, and he recalled how Jursevics was looking forward to transferring to the Front Range after being stationed in the Eagle County area for three years.
So it was especially poignant for Hill to stand at attention on the Eagle Interstate 70 overpass Tuesday afternoon as members of the Colorado State Patrol escorted the fallen trooper’s family to Denver. It was a scene repeated throughout the state as the three-car caravan traversed Colorado.
“It is a case of law enforcement coming together as a community to pay respect to someone who gave her life to public safety,” said Trooper Nate Reid, of the Colorado State Patrol.
He said the tribute was a grassroots effort, attracting the participation emergency service providers who worked with Jursevics as well as people who never met the trooper.
“It was something done to show respect for someone who lost her life, doing her job,” Reid said.
Victim of a drunk driver
Jursevics died Sunday after being struck by a vehicle while she was investigating a crash along Interstate 25 at Castle Rock. Retired Col. Eric Peter Henderson, suspected of vehicular homicide and drunk driving in Jursevics’ death, has been arrested in connection with the accident. Henderson, a 52-year-old from Peyton, also faces allegations of careless driving resulting in death and failing to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death.
“I killed a cop,” Henderson told detectives through tears after he was arrested in the case, according to an arrest affidavit.
A friend told investigators Henderson had consumed at least six beers Sunday during the course of a trip to Denver to watch the Broncos play the Chiefs. Henderson is being held at the Douglas County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Jursevics, 33, is survived by her husband and 8-month-old son. A GoFundMe site created to help raise money for Jursevics’ family had raised over $5,000 by Tuesday morning.
She was well known among local emergency services personnel because she was stationed in the area for three years after she joined the Colorado State Patrol in 2011.
As he watched the small caravan pass the nine vehicles — a collection that included police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances from various agencies — parked along the Eagle interchange Tuesday, Hill hoped Jursevics’ family found a small amount of solace from the sight.
“I hope they saw that she was loved and that she was a member of a big family. We are all on the same side, all emergency services providers,” Hill said.