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Sons of fallen deputy outbid at auction for dad’s squad car, get keys anyway

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. – A man who purchased the former service car of a fallen sheriff’s deputy during an auction on Wednesday gave the vehicle to the deputy’s son, Tanner Brownlee.

Tanner was 15 when his father, Deputy Sam Brownlee, was killed in the line of duty during a police chase in 2010.

Tanner and his brother, Chase, recently began raising money to bid on their father’s squad car. The money raised at the auction would go to C.O.P.S., Concerns of Police Survivors, which raises money for families of officers killed in the line of duty.

The Dodge Charger, with 147,000 miles, was valued at $12,500.

“If we do get it tonight, I kind of hope my mom will let me drive it around tonight,” Tanner told ABC Denver.

Tanner and Chase raised $3,000 dollars before the auction. On Wednesday night, the bids quickly escalated past what Tanner could afford.

A local rancher won the car for a bid of $60,000. Immediately after he was given the keys, he turned to Tanner and said, “Tanner. Here’s your car.”

Tanner said he will donate the $3,000 he raised to C.O.P.S.

“This is just so huge. I mean, me and my dad built a fence and stuff, but having something I can use, and drive around that he drove around, it just means a lot,” Tanner told CBS Denver.

After the auction, Tanner unlocked his father’s car and drove it home one more time.

“It just, it means so much to me. I thank everyone for that,” said Tanner.

5 comments

    • wisill

      Did you watch the video, or read the purpose behind the video on another site and understand the reasons why he paid so much for the car? It wasn’t just any old car, and it wasn’t just given to just any old kid sitting in the audiience. You can’t place value on material items that hold that powerful of an emotional attachment to them. Maybe read up on the story or watch the video, before commenting and maybe you won’t sound as ignorant in the future, as you do now. Highest respects for Rancher Weld and residents of Weld County helping to make the dreams of these kids come true.

      • Anita

        Wisill, thank you for standing up against “Donald”, and for standing strong on behalf of the benevolent rancher who made these boys’ dream come true. God bless the rancher who truly felt their pain over the loss of their father and did something positive to help them heal their broken hearts.. I, too, have the highest respect for this rancher and wish him nothing but happiness, good health and fortune for the remainder of his days. He deserves it.

    • Anita

      Your comment speaks loudly of your jealousy that no one has done something similarly generous, and purely from the goodness of their heart, for you. With your attitude, It is not hard to figure out why they have not and never will.

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