A Colorado police department found a heartbreaking and memorable way of reminding people about the consequences of drunken driving.
The Freemont County Sheriff’s Office provided a living, breathing example of all those affected by someone’s decision to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking. The department posted on Facebook a photo of a baby girl whose state trooper mother was killed by a suspected drunken driver.
“For anyone who is planning on just having a 'few beers' and driving home after, look at this little girl,” the post said. “She will grow up without her Mother, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jamie Jursevics, who was hit by a drunk driver and killed last week. Is it worth it?”
The image of baby Morgan Lynn, now eight months old, was taken two months ago, Jursevics' husband, Didzis Jursevics, wrote on Facebook.
"Sadly prophetic in a way," he posted.
Jursevics, 33, of the Colorado State Patrol, was struck by a vehicle while she investigated an accident along Interstate 25 on Nov. 15, police said.
Jursevics was hit about 8:50 p.m. while she signaled with a flashlight for a driver to pull over on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to an arrest affidavit.
She died at a local hospital.
A trooper who had been following the driver told investigators he had been on the phone with Jursevics and heard her scream as he saw her flashlight fly through the air, according to the affidavit.
The driver who struck her allegedly fled the scene, but was later arrested by members of the Palmer Lake Marshal’s Office, officials said.
Eric Henderson, a 52-year-old retired Army colonel, was arrested on charges including driving under the influence, vehicular homicide, leaving the scene and careless driving causing death.
“I killed a cop,” Henderson allegedly said during an interview with investigators and began crying, the affidavit said.
Henderson was initially held at the Douglas County jail in lieu of $1 million bail, but he bonded out after a judge reduced the bond to $500,000.
Information for his attorney was not immediately available.
Henderson’s passenger told investigators that the pair had attended the Denver Broncos game, where he said Henderson drank at least six beers, according to the affidavit.
The passenger reportedly said he fell asleep as Henderson drove and that he wasn’t concerned with how his friend was driving.
“Our family has been hurt today. A senseless act has taken the life of someone who swore to protect Colorado. We offer our thoughts, prayers and full condolences to Jaimie's family,” Colonel Scott G. Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in a statement posted to a GoFundMe page created to raise money for Jursevics’ family.
In seven days, almost $95,000 was raised.
"We will grieve with them, and with them we will never forget her sacrifice," Hernandez said.