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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

In Memory Of...

...Shane Wyrsch, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, husband and father. Rest in peace Shane, you're going to be sorely missed. (Photo is a USFS file photo).

I hate saying those words. Especially when they relate to someone I've known for years. I worked with Shane on several assignments. We'd call each other and chat, pass along information, check up on each other. He'd always ask about my son. He got to know my son when my son was helping me teach a man tracking course that Shane was attending in the Morton area. Shane was concerned when my son went to Pakistan... the Middle East and was relieved when he learned my son was no longer in the military. He wanted to see my son become a law enforcement officer for the Forest Service.

When Shane and I worked together we would always get the job done. Because of politics, budget, etc. you can't always say that about every job assignment in this business.

Several of our assignments would take us weeks to complete... weeks away from home. On the hottest, muggiest days of the year... when the woods were full of bugs, bees and bad guys we'd follow helicopters all over the state in search of those less than legal cash crops that were being grown in our forests.

Shane loved his job, he loved the outdoors and he loved his family.

He was a big man... "powerfully built"... not one to mess with. His shoulders were huge, his arms the size of most men's thighs, his grip vice like. Yet, he moved up and down the mountains of Washington State effortlessly, trail or no trail.

Shane Wyrsch was killed by a drunk... an "alleged" drunk... the night before last as he was travelling home on Highway 410 just outside of Buckley, WA. I drove past the site yesterday while I was heading to Enumclaw for a meeting. I saw the spent road flares, the paint on the road put there by the investigators, the tire marks and gouges. I remember thinking to myself that the road must have been blocked for awhile simply because of the remnants of the flare patterns.

As I passed by the site I thought about the accident, the people involved and hoped no one was seriously injured but knew better because of the condition of the scene.

I had no idea this was the site where Shane was killed... I didn't even know Shane was dead yet. Not until I was told by a good friend when I walked through the door at the meeting.

I don't like drunk drivers.

Shane didn't either.

This is such an avoidable tragedy.

Here's the story as told by "King 5 News":

"U.S. Forest Service officer killed in crash

06:16 PM PDT on Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Troopers say the driver had a suspended license

BUCKLEY, Wash. – A suspected drunk driver involved in a horrific crash that killed a respected law enforcement officer should never have been on the road.

The Washington State Patrol says U.S. Forest Service Officer Shane Wyrsch was driving home on Highway 410 near Buckley Monday night when a pickup crossed the center line and slammed into him head-on. Witnesses say the man who hit Wyrsch was driving very erratically. Troopers say he was likely drunk, and driving with a suspended license.

All that's left of Shane Wyrch's truck is a mangled pile of metal.

U.S. Forest Service

Shayne Wyrsch was killed in a head-on crash near Buckley Monday night.
The 16-year veteran patrolled the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest and the communities nearby.

"Each and every one is like a brother, and losing Shane will be very similar to losing a family member," says Enumclaw Police Officer Don Banner.

"He lived in this community and anything he could do to further make it a good place to live, he never hesitated."

Wyrsch died Tuesday morning, leaving behind a wife, two children and countless colleagues.

A spokesperson says the entire U.S. Forest Service family is devastated by Wyrsch's passing. The State Patrol plans to investigate this as a vehicular homicide."

Dammit all anyways!!!


Anonymous said...

Shane was a good man! I went to school with Shane at Mount Si High School. We played baseball together and many great times together over the years. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be terribly missed.

Matt Campbell
Snoqualmie, WA

Anonymous said...

I miss you Shane --- I am grieving for you. I'll never forget you. You are very special and a great employee, husband and father. I cherish the times we spent working together. You had all the right stuff to be such a great forest service law enforcement officer. You will forever be in my memories. For now, I mourn your loss. Carol Hansen(retired FS LE)

Anonymous said...

I love you bro, i can't belive i'm not going to see you again. I want so badly to say goodbuy one more time, i can't imagine you not being there. It's never going to be the same without you. I'll never forget you and all that you've done for me and my famlily and i promise you i will always do anything i can to help Zoe and the kids. You got robbed big dog, it's so not fair! You're the best I've ever known; I miss you so much already it's killing me. So long for now friend; see you in heavan.

I love you,

ttueoop said...

Matt- Yes, Shane was a good man! Thanks for sharing your memories.
Take care.

Hey Carol- You should remember some of those "assignments" we all participated in. You also know what I'm trying to say. He did have all of the right stuff and he didn't flaunt it! We will all mourn his loss. Thanks for sharing and take care---

Ericcsen- It's not fair at all! Thank you for your post. Take care.

Nichole said...

I've heard so much about him, but never truly got the opportunity to meet him. He was my Uncle and I hold a place for him in my heart. Love you Shane!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Your Fan and Friend said...

I hope no one in Shane's family reads your post, Mr. Anonymous without a heart. And I hope you find a heart sometime in this life so you can live a life free of hatred and bitterness. I honestly can't believe you entered this forum to spew your hate. "A man never describes his own character so clearly as when he describes another." Jean Paul Richter. You, sir, have described yourself well.

To Shanes' friends and family - Peace and Love.

ttueoop said...

Anonymous (22, March 2007 post that has been deleted)-

Obviously, you're one of the reasons Shane was as good of a cop as he was. Evidently you're a product of his good police work and you've failed to learn the values offered by his intervention.

I can only hope our paths will cross someday.

You should be a bit more forward next time and post up front. No need to be anonymous.

ttueoop said...

Mr. Anonymous Soldier-

I'm not going to let your comments go online. This is not the forum for you to air your petty remarks.

If you wish to discuss this with me via email then feel free to email me at the following email address-


Anonymous said...

i worked with the forest service for about 4 years during college out of Enumclaw & had the pleasure of knowing & becoming friends with Shane. i actually bought my first motorcycle from him back in 2001 & learned most of my riding skills (& wheelie's) from him. he's still to this day one of the best riders i've ever seen. he was great at everything he did. i had some hard times back then & he was always there to give me advice or just go for a ride in the summer, or knock some sense into me. i looked up to him & he helped make me the man i am today.
rest in peace Shane

Ryan Shervanick
Bonney Lake, WA

Anonymous said...

Wishing the Wyrsch family peace and solace at this time. I met Shane in college, he is an exceptional person who will be missed greatly.

Shannon Bougie
Auburn, WA

Anonymous said...

Some of my favorite gatherings with friends included ones with Shane and Zoe. My heart goes out to all that new Shane and the family. I am still just speechless and don't really know what to say. I lost my dad 3 years ago in a car accident and although I don't totally understand what its like to lose my spouse or the father of my children, I know what its like to loose an immediate family member so suddenly.
One of my favorite memories of Shane was his simple "Boots n Pots" rap he used to do. It was my fav and I used to ask him to perform it at many gatherings.
Shene- You will be missed!
Love you guys!
Jill (& Jason) Sulkosky

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Shane's family and friends. I pray that his wife and children will be comforted with the love of God during this very difficult time. I met Shane in college and he was one of the kindest and funniest people I have ever met. Shane was a wonderful person who will be greatly missed by many.

Shelly Willms

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of knowing Shane. Bad things happen to good people, but sometimes bad things happen to great people too. Shane was a great person. Rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I met Shane on a detail (ya'll LE folks know what that is) and we bonded over the fact that we were both "oreos". I liked him immediately. The last email I got from him reminded me that I still owed him a favor for delivering a citation for me! I'll keep ya in my heart dog.

Trailpatrol said...

There are only about 650 LEOs in the entire US Forest Service. They're like a big, extended family, and I know they are greieving for Shane and his family even now. I'm a state park ranger in MN, and I volunteer in the Chippewa NF, where we lost a USFS LEO in a car accident a few years ago. That one was very sad. This one was horrible and senseless. That "alleged" perp knew, when he got behind that steering wheel, that he had no right to be there. I hope justice is done out there. My prayers are with Shane's wife, children, co-workers and fellow LEOs. God bless you all.