Memorial for fallen trooper to be dedicated Monday
GOLDEN – A granite memorial honoring the late Jason Manspeaker, a Colorado State Patrol (CSP) trooper who was stationed in Frisco, will be dedicated Monday in Golden. The memorial will be permanently placed at the Frisco CSP offices when a planned new Frisco building is completed in 2005, CSP officials said.
Manspeaker, 25, died Jan. 23, 2001, when he lost control of his patrol vehicle on Interstate 70 and slid into a semitrailer parked near the off-ramp to the Loveland Ski Area. He was responding to a suspected sighting of the van thought to be one used by two Texas prison escapees, part of the Texas Seven who were later found in and around Colorado Springs. Manspeaker was westbound on the east side of the tunnel, en route to meet another trooper when the accident occurred.
He had been with CSP for 18 months.
“The memorial has been donated by the people of Texas because he was going after the Texas Seven when he crashed,” said CSP Sgt. Ed Clark.
The public dedication is set for 10 a.m. at the Colorado State Patrol Academy, 15055 S. Golden Road. CSP Chief Lonnie Westphal and several representatives of the Texas Highway Patrol will participate in a prayer and speech honoring Manspeaker, Clark said.
Manspeaker, born and raised in Montrose, knew “when he was a little kid” he wanted to become a police officer, said his father, Ray Manspeaker.
“I was a senior reserve officer for the city of Montrose,” his father said. “He grew up with the police officers here in town.”
Manspeaker graduated from Mesa State College with a bachelor’s degree in business management before enrolling in the CSP Academy.
Clark, one of Manspeaker’s field training officers when the trooper was in the CSP Academy, remembers Manspeaker well.
“He was a very big guy who always had a positive, can-do attitude,” he said, “and he really loved doing the job.”After he graduated, he was stationed in Frisco.
“He loved it,” Ray Manspeaker said. “He’d call me up and say, “Dad, I got another DUI arrest,’ and he’d talk about all the classes he was scheduled to take. He was real happy living there.”
During his short career, Trooper Manspeaker became well known in the law enforcement community by making the second highest number of DUI arrests in his troop. He also taught safety classes at Summit High School.
Ray Manspeaker said he was touched when he heard about the planned memorial.
“It makes me feel proud,” he said.
Manspeaker is also survived by his wife, Stephanie, whom his father said was Manspeaker’s high school sweetheart. She returned to Montrose following his death.
Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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