LONGMONT, Colo. — Members of law enforcement from 37 different states lined a seven-mile stretch of road in Longmont Thursday to honor a corporal for the Colorado State Patrol who made the ultimate sacrifice during last week’s record-setting blizzard.
Cpl. Dan Groves, 52, was outside of his patrol car on a rural stretch of Interstate 76 helping someone whose vehicle had gone off the road when he was hit and killed by a driver who lost control. According to his obituary, he is survived by his parents, his partner of more than two years, his siblings and a loving extended family.
During a eulogy at his memorial service on Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) described Groves’ previous career, where he worked in IT in Chicago. He left that lucrative job because he felt a “calling” to help people, and was elated when the Colorado State Patrol allowed him to join in 2007. He was one of their oldest recruits.
“He was someone who took his job seriously, but was never someone who took himself seriously,” Polis said, describing how Groves was a DJ in college and wore a t-shirt in his Facebook profile picture that says you should “never trust an atom because they make up everything.”
When Groves started at CSP, he worked in Frisco and helped drivers navigate treacherous icy roads, according to CSP Chief Matthew Packard.
“He loved working on the mountains,” Packard said.
Later, Groves moved to Denver, where he helped CSP solve all kinds of problems.
“Dan was a yes man, but a good kind of yes man,” Packard said.
In 2016, Groves interviewed to be a corporal in CSP’s Weld County office. During that time, Packard said he learned what he type of leader he was, and how much he loved being a member of the Colorado State Patrol.
“There are 1,200 members of the Colorado State Patrol, and each one I talked to had a story, had a nickname, about a memory they shared with Dan,” Packard said. “He was that kind of guy.”
Groves is the fourth Colorado state trooper responding to an accident to have been killed since 2015. This has a led to a renewed call for drivers to slow down and move over when passing first responders on the highway.
“The heartache felt since last Wednesday is simply immeasurable,” Packard said. “The reason Dan is not here today can never be acceptable. It can’t. We must learn from Dan’s sacrifice.”
During his eulogy, Packard implored the thousands of people watching Groves’ funeral via a livestream to be more cognizant of first responders on the road and to follow Colorado law and move over.
“Colorado is a better place because of Daniel Groves,” Packard said.
CSP has listed two ways the public can help Groves and his family:
The Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation provides financial assistance to families of fallen troopers, as well as troopers injured in the line of duty. Donations may be made online at www.cspff.net/support-us/.
Donations may also be made to the Rocky Mountain Hyperbaric Association for Brain Injuries at https://rockymountainhyperbaricassociation.org/donate/.
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