On March 13, 2016 the law enforcement profession lost a good man, CHP Officer Nathan Taylor. His family lost a husband, a father, a son and a brother. The CHP lost a great officer, a friend, a role model and a mentor.
Below is the description from ODMP of the collision that took his life:
Officer Nathan Taylor succumbed to injuries sustained the previous day when he was struck by a vehicle on I-80, near Donnor Summit.
He was directing traffic at the scene of a previous accident when a vehicle suddenly changed lanes and accelerated past slowing traffic. The vehicle struck Officer Taylor, causing him to be thrown into the median. He suffered two broken legs and internal injuries. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the following day.
Officer Taylor had served with the California Highway Patrol for six years. He is survived by his wife, three sons, parents, sister, and three brothers. One of his brothers also serves with the California Highway Patrol.
To get a sense as to the kind of man Nathan Taylor was take a few minutes and read this letter a citizen wrote when he heard about Nathan’s death:
In Honor of CHP Officer Nathan Taylor –
I knew Nathan for about 45 minutes. Two weeks ago I was hitch-hiking at Donner Summit after a failed backcountry ski trip. Nathan’s CHP cruiser rolled up and I thought “Here we go, I’m about to get harassed by the cops.”
Nathan rolled down the window and asked if I was all right. I leaned in and told him I was ok, and gave him my story. He asked if I wanted a ride, and I gladly accepted.
In the next 45 minutes we talked, laughed and shared stories. He told me about his wife and kids, his time working in San Jose, and how he loved working up in the mountains away from the city. When he dropped me off, he gave me his personal phone number and told me to call him at 6:30 if I hadn’t gotten a ride – he would pick me up after he got off work and drive me to family in Sacramento. I texted him later in the day to tell him that I had been picked up and thank him. He texted back “All’s well that ends well. Glad you made it.”
Nathan Taylor was a good man. He was kind, and giving, and he wanted to help. He challenged my prejudice against the police. He inspired me to be a better man.
I have found myself thinking about how I could repay his kindness in the last couple of weeks. About bringing him a 6 pack of beer, or writing the CHP to commend him. I thought about looking him up when I was in the area and offering to buy him dinner. I thought about becoming his friend.
And then I read in the newspaper today that he had been killed on duty this weekend – hit by a car while investigating another accident. And I was, I am, crushed. Buying him a 6 pack or dinner seems so small in scope now. I am sharing this in an effort to broaden that scope. To repay him by inspiring others to be good.
Be a good person. Be kind to strangers. Go out of your way to help them when you can. The time for this is now, not later. Later may never come. The measure of your life is your impact on other people. Make it count.
Make sure you share this letter with your officers. Teach them about the power of unconditional respect and the outward mindset that Chip Huth, Jack Colwell and the Abridger Institute teach. Teach your officers that what they do is important. It impacts lives, changes lives and saves lives. They will never know how many lives they changed. Nathan Taylor changed this citizen’s life in 45 minutes, and he is just one of many people impacted by Nathan.
Honor Nathan and his family by sharing his story.
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