SPANISH FORK, Utah -- It was a short distance from the top of 400 East in Spanish Fork to the end of a difficult week for Sgt. Wride’s family, but a community made sure they weren’t walking it alone.
“He really is a hero,” said Nathan Mohler, one of Wride’s five children. “He’s our hero. I made some pretty dumb decisions in my life, and he saved my life. So, without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
The family was greeted by complete strangers along the funeral procession route on Wednesday, the beginning of a tough road of healing.
“This community is what has helped us get through it, at least,” said Chance Wride. “I told my wife I didn’t know my Dad was this popular, and it just blows my mind that they would honor him like this.”
People from all around the state came to Spanish Fork to line the streets for a man they never even knew, but a sergeant and father they now will never forget.
“I’m here to support him, and all the officers, for everything that they do for everybody in the community,” said Jamie Watkins, a local resident.
Hundreds lined Main Street in town, with heavy hearts and well wishes for the family. Carol Dalzine of American Fork stood outside the cemetery for hours, handing out flags to everyone passing by.
“I realize that every time they approach a car their life is in danger,” Dalzine said. “We’re here for them.”
As the family headed into the cemetery to lay Sgt. Wride to rest, they said they were comforted in knowing his memory would at least be kept alive.
“He really truly was the man of steel to me because he thought he was invincible,” said Shea Wride. “And that’s how my Dad is. He’s just a great man and wanted to make sure he could protect anyone he possibly could and show them love. That’s how my Dad was.”