A Colorado man is inspiring people to be the best they can be, even after his death (video below).
Taylor Thyfault had made a list of 25 future goals when he was in high school, KUSA reported. That list included:
Join the Army and be the best that I can be
Go bungee jumping
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Start a family
Buy an English Bull Dog and name him Diesel
Swim with sharks
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Visit the tribe I am from (Saquangue Lakota Oyate)
Save a life
Coach a Lacrosse team
Graduate high school
Get a masters part time in the military
Get a job
Buy my own truck
Wrestle an alligator
Meet the 'Jackass' crew
Buy my Quad
Play football for a minor league
Go cliff diving
Volunteer in the community
Go to Alaska
Be there for all of the people that have been there for me
Never be arrested
Go to Oktoberfest in Germany
Be the best man, husband, son, soldier, and friend as ... possible
Thyfault was close with his mother, Carole Adler. Adler knew her son was capable of accomplishing his goals, and he was already on his way.
At the age of 21, Thyfault was an Army veteran and in the final stages of his cadet training with the Colorado State Patrol.
But on May 23, 2015, tragedy struck.
Thyfault was investigating a crash on a Colorado highway with Tropper Clinton Rushing. They were warned about a high-speed police chase heading their way and used stop sticks to try to stop the suspect.
The suspect dodged the stop sticks and crashed into Thyfault and Rushing. Rushing was seriously injured. Thyfault died at the scene.
Rusty Melvin, a tow-truck driver at the scene of the crash said Thyfault had warned him about the police chase, and instructed him to get out of the way. Melvin said Thyfault’s warning saved his life, KDVR reported.
Adler says she considers her son a hero.
"And if you asked him, he'd do it again, because he sacrificed himself, for someone else," Adler said. "He lived, he dreamed and breathed that."
Adler would text message her son every day. They worked out together, had coffee on Friday mornings and were in constant communication.
"Every day, it hits me like a ton of bricks, when I can't text him," Adler said. "We're just that close. Everything that happened in his life was in my life."
A few weeks after her son’s death, Adler decided to send a text message to his phone. She said sending the text messages helped her feel close to him.
Then one day, after sending several text messages, Adler got a response.
Sgt. Kell Hulsey, of the Greeley Police Department, had gotten a new work phone over the summer. He thought the text messages were from a wrong number and ignored them at first.
"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,'" Hulsey recalled.
Adler identified herself as Thyfault's mother. Hulsey immediately requested for a new phone number, but Adler asked him to keep her son’s number because he was doing the job Thyfault wanted to do one day.
Hulsey, who started his career in law enforcement 33 years ago, said he then felt a connection with Thyfault.
"He's eager. He's excited, and he's willing to do a job that can sometimes be really unthankful," Hulsey said.
Hulsey said Thyfault’s story had inspired him and rejuvenated his career. He also said he feels as if he has someone looking out for him.
Adler now sends text messages to Hulsey on occasion, just to check up on him and remind him to be safe.
"[Thyfault is] still trying to make a difference," Hulsey said.
Thyfault’s name was added to the national memorial of fallen officers. Adler was at the ceremony to honor her son’s life and celebrate his accomplishments.