(KTXL) – A Florida teen honored fallen Elk Grove police officer Tyler “Ty” Lenehan with a one-mile run.
In a video posted Sunday night on Facebook by nonprofit Running 4 Heroes, teenage founder Zachariah Cartledge paid tribute to Lenehan by running one mile while carrying a thin blue line flag. Cartledge ran seven laps around a track near the school he attends.
Throughout all seven laps, Cartledge was accompanied by family members and police cars. Police sirens were blared out after each lap was completed and bagpipes were played during Cartledge’s run.
“To the whole family of fallen officer Tyler Lenehan, his whole entire family and everybody at the Elk Grove Police Department in California, we hope you all heal very soon through the passing of your loved one,” Cartledge said after completing his run. “This was a very unfortunate accident. It involved drunk driving. It’s just so sad.”
“Our prayers are going to continue to stay with him and his family,” Cartledge continued. “He just sounded like an incredible, dedicated person and a great person to be around as well.”
Before the video ended, there was a 21-second moment of silence – similar to a 21-gun salute – followed by a prayer by Cartledge.
Running 4 Heroes is a nonprofit that raises funds for families of fallen first responders, according to its website. Cartledge’s one-mile run was part of the non-profit’s Fallen Hero Flag Mission, which sends the carried flag to the family and/or agency of the fallen first responder with a handwritten note.
Lenehan died after colliding with a wrong-way driver on Highway 99 in South Sacramento on Friday, Jan. 21.
The California High Patrol Sacramento dispatch center said they received a call about a wrong-way driver going northbound in the southbound lanes of the highway around 5:13 a.m. At that time, the caller reported the driver was near 47th Avenue.
Another caller then reported that the wrong-way driver had collided with a police motorcycle.
After multiple police units responded to the area, officers detained 31-year-old Jermaine J. Walton of Sacramento. The CHP reported that Walton displayed “objective signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication.”
Walton was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
The community rallied together the night following Lenehan’s death, holding a candlelight vigil near the Elk Grove Police Department headquarters to honor his life.
After serving in the United States Air Forces, Lenehan spent six years with the Elk Grove police and previously worked at the Citrus Heights and Galt police departments.
In 2020, officials said, Lenehan became a motor officer with the department and was “extremely excited to begin his new assignment.” Lenehan leaves behind a wife and two children.
Capitol flags were flown half-staff on Saturday after Gov. Gavin Newsom released a statement mourning Lenehan.
“Jennifer and I join all the family, friends and Elk Grove Police Department colleagues mourning the tragic loss of Officer Lenehan, who devoted his life to protecting his country and community,” Newsom wrote in his statement. “We are grateful for the many brave men and women like Officer Lenehan who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.”