GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- This May, Maryland Trooper Billy Talbert will ride in the Police Unity Tour to honor Grayson County Sheriff's Deputy, Chad Key, who was killed by a drunk driver in April 2013.
"The fallen are never forgotten. Chad's family will never be forgotten. Chad's memory will always be present in our minds and our hearts," says Talbert.
Talbert will begin his ride in Maryland on Friday and will arrive in Washington, DC on Tuesday, where he will meet Key's wife, April, and friend, Grayson County Sheriff's Lieutenant Rickey Wheeler.
"She's just honored that Trooper Talbert is riding for Chad," says Wheeler.
Deputy Key's name will be inscribed and dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at the 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil on Tuesday.
"Of course, it's an honor that we would rather not have, you know, if we had a choice," says Wheeler.
Key was directing traffic at the scene of a high-speed chase on US Highway 82, just east of Sherman on the night of April 20th of last year when Ricky Trent Stanley crashed into Key, killing him. Officials say Stanley's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the accident. Stanley was convicted of murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison.
Key's death hit close to home for Talbert because his father was killed by a drunk driver.
"He instilled in me that DWI offenses are some of the egregious offenses that are out there," says Talbert.
Key had only been a Sheriff's Deputy for 77 days, and officers described him as dedicated and hardworking. Wheeler says it's fitting that Key and his wife will be recognized not only by Talbert's ride but by people across the country during National Police Week.
"She's honored that his name is on the wall and I'm sure there is going to be a lot of emotion there that week," says Wheeler.