Colorado state trooper cadet Taylor Thyfault lost his life in the line of duty on May 23, 2015. He was on a ride-along when he stopped to help at an accident. As Thyfault provided assistance at the scene, he learned there was a high-speed police chase coming up the same stretch of road. In the moments before a car would come barreling through the accident scene, Thyfault helped a tow truck driver get to safety. The troopers deployed stop sticks, but the car the police were pursuing didn’t stop. Taylor was struck by the car and died at the scene. “He died a hero. He saved [the tow truck driver’s] life so he could go home to his little ones,” says Thyfault’s mother, Carole Adler.
“I just screamed ‘No not him, not him,’” Adler says. Later, after going through Thyfault’s phone, she realized she was the last person he texted before the accident. In an effort to keep some semblance of contact with her son, Adler routinely texted Taylor’s phone. One day she received a response.
The response came from Sergeant Kell Hulsey, from the nearby Greely Police Department. He had recently got a new phone and received Taylor’s old phone number. After getting his new number he had seen some texts from Adler on his phone but didn’t know who they were from. “I received a few short ones, ‘I Love you,’ ‘I miss you,’ that sort of stuff,” Hulsey said. “So I sent a text back and identified myself, and said ‘I’m with the Greeley Police Department, and I don’t think your texts are going where you think they are,” he says. After responding to Adler, he realized that she was the mother of a fellow officer.
Hulsey kept in contact with Adler because Thyfault reminded him of his younger self. “He never got to experience all of the great things that come with this job,” Hulsey says. “I have gotten to do that and I think it’s good for me to remember all the wonderful things he was looking forward to … It’s like I always have a little angel in my pocket now.” Adler and Hulsey hope to meet up soon, and Adler works to keep her son’s heroism alive by passing out bracelets in his memory.