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Family of fallen Colorado State Patrol trooper issues plea for driver safety

DENVER — The family of fallen Colorado State Patrol trooper Cody Donahue issued a statement Thursday, less than a week after he was killed and one day before his funeral.

“Two little girls are going to grow up without their Daddy, and there’s no good reason,” the family wrote.

The 34-year-old Donahue was an 11-year veteran of the Colorado State Patrol. He returned to patrolling on the streets and highways three weeks before his death.

He is survived by his wife and two young children.

“There are no words to express how great our loss is,” the family wrote. “Cody was the rock of our family. He was always there to make us smile, lend a hand, give a hug. Our hearts are forever broken.”

Donahue was struck and killed by a semitruck along Interstate 25 south of Castle Rock on Friday afternoon. Donahue was hit while he was investigating another accident. He died instantly.

Dashcam video shows the driver of the vehicle, 41 year-old Noe Gamez-Ruiz, had room to move over to another lane but didn’t.

Gamez-Ruiz has been charged with careless driving resulting in death and failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle.

On Thursday, five law enforcement agencies were patrolling the south corridor of Interstate 25 to strictly enforce the state’s “move over” law.

Drivers are required to move over at least one lane when an emergency vehicle is on the shoulder with its hazard lights flashing.

Donahue’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the Denver First Church of Nazarene in Englewood.

The full family statement read:

First of all, we want to thank everyone who has sent love and prayers to our family, including our community, the Colorado State Patrol, and our friends and family around the world.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  There are no words to express how great our loss is.  Cody was the rock of our family.  He was always there to make us smile, lend a hand, give a hug.  Our hearts are forever broken.  We do want to take this opportunity to ask all who have been touched by this tragedy, please don’t drive carelessly.  If you see emergency personnel on the side of the road, please slow down and move over.  Two little girls are going to grow up without their Daddy and there’s just no good reason.