Thousands gather to give trooper killed on duty a hero's farewell in Gladwin

A hero's farewell / Kim Russell

The Michigan state trooper who died Wednesday while on duty has been laid to rest.

Veteran police officers cried as Michigan State Police retired badge number 482 during funeral services Saturday. It was the badge number of Trooper Jeffrey Werda.

Trooper Jeffrey Werda died after he crashed on Birch Run Road in Taymouth Township while rushing to help Saginaw County Sheriff TMs Deputies involved in a chase early Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers and emergency personnel from around the state and country packed the Gladwin High School Gymnasium for his funeral.

He really lived the attributes of our front line responders of courage, duty, and honor, said Governor Rick Snyder during the service.

The governor told Werda TMs wife and three children the entire state recognizes the sacrifice they have made.

Werda started out his career of service in the Army during Desert Storm. When he returned home he worked as an emergency responder, a police officer in Richfield Township, and as a Michigan State Police trooper.

Everyday we go to work, it is a possibility, said Trooper Jamie Bullis after the service.

He met Werda while in recruit school.

Some people have bigger smiles than others. Werda had the biggest smile.

Bullis says everytime he gets in his patrol car, he will think of his friend.

It reminds you, don't leave things unsaid, says Bullis. When you go on duty and check in to service make sure the ones you love know that you love ~em.

Werda leaves behind a wife and three children.

The 23-year-old man officers say they were chasing when they called on Werda for backup is in jail. He faces numerous charges including first-degree manslaughter fleeing and eluding, possession of drugs, and driving with a suspended license.