Earlier this year, a 28-year-old man in Boulder County was convicted of first-degree murder with extreme indifference for human life because he killed a 21-year-old trooper cadet named Taylor Thyfault. In May of 2015, Gebers took part in a high-speed car chase that varied from 102 miles per hour to 50 miles per hour.
Taylor Thyfault and Colorado State Patrol Sergeant Clinton Rushing, 37, deployed stop sticks on Highway 66 northwest of Longmont after working an earlier two-vehicle crash as the chase in which Gebers was involved approached Thyfault and Rushing. Rushing received critical injuries as a result of the crash and Thyfault died when Gebers struck him with the speeding car.
Before being struck, Thyfault pushed a tow driver out of the way of danger. Thyfault was a veteran U.S. Army soldier and a graduate of Windsor High School in 2012.
Gebers said that his accelerator was stuck and he could not slow down, which would transfer the fault in Thyfault’s death to the manufacturer of his vehicle. The jury, however, found sufficient evidence to conclude that Thyfault’s death as a result of Gebers’ actions was not the fault of the auto manufacturer. Instead, the fault lay specifically with Gebers, and the jury concluded that Gebers was guilty of first degree murder.
Thyfault was a cadet with the Colorado State Patrol. At his funeral, he was promoted to the rank of trooper and his colleagues remembered him as an honorable, selfless man who was well on his way to earning the promotion to State Trooper.
Gebers’ conviction in September carries a mandatory life sentence without parole. The sentencing judge gave Gebers life in prison plus 342 years, which guarantees that Gebers, 28 years old, will have years to contemplate the seriousness of his reckless, indifferent actions.
The sentencing hearing this past Tuesday allowed Thyfault’s family and friends the time to discuss how the loss of their friend and child affected them. Gebers formally apologized to Thyfault’s family in court on Tuesday. He said, “I wish I could take it back. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. I didn’t mean to kill anybody. This was an accident.”
Accident or not, personal injuries resulting from negligent or reckless driving impact the lives of ordinary people immensely. Accidents happen and victims do not always see the justice they deserve. The attorneys at Larson & Larimer have decades of experience working with injured victims and those who harm them. If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, call (303)221-0039 for your free consultation.