About 1,500 people gathered on Sunday for a memorial service honoring Tuolumne County Sheriff´s deputy Dave Grant.
As dozens and dozens of police vehicles drove slowly through downtown Sonora yesterday, residents of the Mother Lode joined visitors in thanking and saying goodbye to fallen Deputy Grant.
Law enforcement officers came from as far as Las Vegas, Nev. The procession of patrol cars, motorcycles and fire trucks made its way to the Sierra Bible Church on Tuolumne Road where the celebration of life was held.
Deputy Dave Grant was remembered fondly at his funeral service yesterday. Grant died last week in a car accident while rushing to the scene of an airplane crash.
It was an emotional time for more than a 500 people stuffed Inside the church sanctuary. More than a thousand more people gathered under tents and in the shade of trees to hear the service piped through speakers set up outside.
Tuolumne County Sheriff Dick Rodgers was one of several who spoke during the two-hour-long service. He explained what happened that Memorial Day morning. Rogers said while Grant rushed along Highway 49 “Code-3” to a double-fatal plane crash in the Columbia area, a driver started to pull onto the highway. Rogers said deputy Grant chose to swerve to avoid the collision, and gave his own life to save another.
A tearful, and emotional Sonora Police Chief Duane Ellis said his relationship with Dave Grant went beyond law enforcement. It was a close friendship which developed over the years from when Grant first became a police cadet.
Also among those speaking yesterday afternoon was California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, representing Governor Schwareneggers ´s administration. He offered remarks about the fallen deputy. “In so many ways, he lives on and on and on in the hearts of his colleagues in law enforcement, people in the community that respected him and most especially, the family who loved him,” Lockyer told the assembly.