CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A trooper with the Colorado State Patrol was struck and killed in a hit-and-run along Interstate 25 south of Castle Rock on Sunday night. That trooper has been identified as Jaimie Jursevics.
The driver was arrested, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, after leaving the scene of the collision and suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Trooper Jursevics, 33, was outside of her vehicle, which was parked in the shoulder in the southbound lanes of I-25, and helping with an investigation of a car crash just before 9 p.m. Sunday when the incident happened.
“Our hearts go out to the trooper. I’m very proud to wear this Colorado State Patrol uniform with the trooper, the members of this team at the Castle Rock office and with the entire state patrol,” said Colorado State Patrol Chief Scott Hernandez.
Jursevics joined the Colorado State Patrol in January 2011 where she was initially assigned to Troop 4-C Vail and then transferred to Troop 1-C Castle Rock in 2014.
The driver has been identified as Eric P. Henderson, a retired colonel with the U.S. Army. Henderson, 52, was arrested and remained in custody Monday on $1 million bond. He was arrested on multiple charges including vehicular homicide, hit and run- failure to remain on scene with death, driving under the influence of alcohol and careless driving resulting in death.
Troopers say Henderson sped away southbound on I-25 after striking Jursevics and was stopped on Spruce Mountain Road. He was taken into custody by officers with the Palmer Lake Police Department and transferred to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
According to court documents, Henderson was overheard saying “I killed a cop” and a detective said it appeared he was crying.
There was a passenger in Henderson’s pickup and he told investigators that Henderson had about 6-7 beers from the time they tailgated at the Broncos game to the time they left a bar near Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The passenger also told investigators that he was sleeping and was woken by a “big thump” but didn’t know what had caused the noise.
The court documents did not indicate what Henderson’s Blood Alcohol Content was.
“As you might have known unfortunately last night we had a trooper who was struck by a vehicle while she was assisting another trooper. Our hearts go out to her family and troopers and all of our family in law enforcement that we lost another officer to a tragic accident that shouldn’t have happened,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lori Bronner.
“It breaks our hearts when one of our own is lost,” said Hernandez. “It’s devastating, the impact to our family and what we’re going through right now.”
The state patrol tweeted about the fallen trooper on Monday morning
Jursevics leaves behind her husband and a young child.
The crash led to an extended closure of I-25. The highway was closed at the Plum Creek exit southbound and at the Tomah Road exit northbound. The highway was reopened before the Monday morning commute.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Jaimie Jursevics’ family.