Family, friends remember fallen Deputy Rosemary Vela one year later

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. — One year ago, Sept. 28, 2015, Madison County Deputy Rosemary Vela died in a car crash while on duty.

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 5.49.49 PMWednesday afternoon, Both Madison County and Crockett County deputies joined her family to remember Vela, who worked as a deputy in both counties during her law enforcement career.

The flag outside the Crockett County Sheriff’s Office sits at half-staff as officers, family and friends remember Deputy Vela.

“Lot of our officers are really close to her,” Crockett County Sheriff Troy Klyce said. “She was young, and that makes it harder because I look at her like a daughter.”

A uniform was given to the family with patches from every department Vela worked for. Madison County deputies also unveiled a plaque to be placed inside the station.Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 5.50.22 PM

“Rosemary was definitely an angel here on earth,” Madison County Deputy Randall Blankenship said. “Shows you by us coming together today the impact that Deputy Vela left in both departments.”

A sea of blue drove through Alamo to Vela’s final resting place. There her family expressed their gratitude.

“They’ve shown a lot of love to my cousin,” Deputy Vela’s aunt Gricelda Yanez said. “It’s a great loss for us, and she’ll be always remembered.”

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 5.51.03 PM“Thank you everybody for coming. I hope you have a good day,” Deputy Vela’s son, Jayden Wilkes, said. “My mom was a good person.”

“I’m very grateful to have my daughter Rosemary Vela. I have no regrets,” Deputy Vela’s mother Maria Vela said. “I’m very happy for her too. I love her so much. I miss her.”

The West Tennessee chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors and Back the Badge support groups also were there to support the Vela family.

Vela is the first female deputy in Madison County to be killed in the line of duty and the first deputy to die on duty since 1991.

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