SPANISH FORK -- Past the row of flags that greeted you to the Spanish Fork West LDS Stake Center, was a person readying to say goodbye to Sgt. Cory Wride.
“We all know that he’s going to a better place, but just sad for his family that they won’t have him. And the whole town has lost someone so special,” said Tammy Johnson, a friend of the family.
One by one, friends and complete strangers filed into a viewing on Tuesday evening to pay their respects to Sgt. Wride and his family.
“Every day he would go out and put his life on the line for our protection,” said Christian Raleigh, a local resident. “I think we’ve just come to underestimate the sacrifice that officers make on our behalf. And for me, personally, I can sleep at night knowing they’re patrolling and caring for me and my family. And so, to show that appreciation I think is very, very important.”
The 44-year old was shot and killed in the line of duty on Thursday, after he merely stopped to check on a motorist who had pulled over along U.S. Highway 73 in Eagle Mountain.
On Wednesday morning, the father of five will be laid to rest in Spanish Fork, following a service held at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University in Orem at 11 a.m. At approximately 12:15, a procession will transport Sgt. Wride to Spanish Fork Cemetery. The motorcade will travel north along the Frontage Road to Orem Center Street and then head south on Interstate 15. It will then exit at 300 south in Spanish Fork, travel east to 400 east and then turn right into the cemetery.
“It’s just difficult for everyone involved,” said Lt. Matt Johnson of Spanish Fork Police Department.
Johnson began his career at the Utah County Sherriff’s Office alongside Wride years ago.
“Each and every day officers lay their lives on the line,” said Johnson. “And you just never know when something like this could happen, and it's a terrible situation. Our hearts are going out to the family at this time and the law enforcement community in general."
Police estimate approximately 10,000 people are expected to attend the funeral to honor Wride, a man who died doing what he loved.
“That makes you very proud. And I’m very proud of him, proud of his parents. They raised a wonderful family,” said Karen Larsen, a family friend.