Monday, March 26, 2007

Moving forward from here...

It's difficult to move forward at times. Things don't seem to feel right, don't seem to fit.

Senses are numbed, spirits dampened, energies wasted... gone.

The tragic passing of a friend will do that to you, to anyone.

The Wyrsch family will be in my thoughts and prayers but please understand I have to move forward, take a step from this place in my life and tend to some pressing needs myself.

I'll always remember Shane as a friend, as a fellow cop and as a great human being.

Farewell Shane, you will be missed!


As mentioned, several months ago our lives were turned upside down in this household.

We took on long term responsibilities and traded a lot of certain opportunities, matters of facts for others that may or may not lead us to where we planned on going.

Either way, we're committed.

We're going to do what needs to be done to give Andrew, our nephew a proper place to live and grow up.

Given the circumstances our plans have changed considerably. We no longer own our home, we're downsizing our income and budget, we're cutting back on recreational opportunities for the immediate future and are focusing more on those opportunities that a young, very active boy can enjoy and benefit from.

He loves his little cousin and she adores him.

He loves the family environment.

He's adjusting... fitting himself into his new life with us.

Oh trust me, J and I are adjusting too. We have to.

It's not a new thing for us, the raising of a 6 yrs. old boy.

Nothing new, it's just that it was not all that practiced in the recent past until December, 2006.

So, we're moving forward from here.

A different house, a different life...

...different opportunities.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shane Wyrsch Family Benevolent Fund

For all of you who have inquired...


For those wishing to make a donation, an account has been set up at Bank of America. The account name is the Shane Wyrsch Family Benevolent Fund. For out of state donations, please specify to the bank that this is a Washington account.

Thank you.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Shane's memorial service...

...will take place today, Friday, March 23, 2007 at 1 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Parish, 1614 Farrelly Street in Enumclaw. A reception will follow at the King County Fairground Log Cabin in Enumclaw.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

In Memory Of...

USFS File Photo.

In memory of Shane Wyrsch. A devoted United States Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, husband, father and friend.

Shane was killed two nights ago (March 19, 2007) while driving home on Highway 410 just outside of Buckley, Washington.

He was killed by a drunk driver with a suspended driver's license. A person who should never have been on the road!

Shane and I were friends, fellow "timber cops". Quite often our professional paths would merge on "assignments, details" that necessitated the U.S. Forest Service and State of Washington's joint participation in law enforcement functions on state and federal lands. Many of these functions lasted weeks without interruption on the hottest, muggiest or the coldest, wettest days of the year.

We'd chase "bad guys" around in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest who were doing things not allowed by law on public lands and we'd have a ball doing it. Shane was always up beat, tireless, tenacious and focused.

I first met Shane when he attended a man tracking course I was co-teaching with David Scott Donelan in the mountains of Morton, Washington. I brought my son, Justin along with me to help teach.

Shane immediately hit it off with him. He was impressed by Justin's youth coupled with his knowledge of the outdoors and his overall wilderness abilities. Over the years when I'd meet with Shane... when we'd call one another to share some information or simply to check up on one another he'd always ask about Justin. Not about "your son" but about "Justin".

When he learned from me that Justin was being deployed to the Middle East shortly after 911 he shared his concern. He was relieved when I told him Justin was "out" of the military. Shane was always trying to recruit Justin (through me) into the United States Forest Service as a Law Enforcement Officer... not a bad idea.

Shane was a friend. He was a fellow cop and he was always there if I needed him for anything or needed information.


I drove past the accident site yesterday while I headed north to meet with some folks. In fact, after the meeting I was going to see if Shane was available for a visit, a brief chat... being as I was in his area.

I didn't know it was Shane's accident site when I drove through... I just knew it was the site of a recent, serious accident.

You can tell. There's gouges in the pavement, reference points painted on the road's surface by the investigators, skid marks, shards of glass, un-collected plastic, chrome... spent flares. I remember seeing the remnants of the flare pattern that suggested the Highway was blocked for a period of time while the investigation was completed.

I remember seeing those spent flares and thinking to myself that the accident must have been "pretty serious". I hoped for the best for those who were involved, not knowing who they might have been at the time.

When I arrived at where I was driving to I was told by another good friend that Shane had been killed "...last night. A drunk ran into his truck on the highway outside of Buckley."

I remember hearing Chuck tell me... remember how he said it. Almost not believing what he was saying.

I didn't at first. It didn't register. I asked him "Shane who?"

"Shane Wyrsch, the Forest Service officer".

Then it all came together. Shane, the accident site, highway 410, Buckley, drunk driver, flares... serious accident. It all made sense!

But didn't. It never will make sense! Never!

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

"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.

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."


I HATE drunk drivers!

You're going to be missed! Rest in peace Shane.