OCALA, Fla. - Thousands of people gathered in Ocala Thursday to bid a tearful goodbye to Florida Highway Patrol Master Trooper Chelsea Richard.
Law enforcement officers came from all over Florida to pay their respect. They were joined fellow troopers from all across the south including Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia and others.
They all came to honor Richard and to reach out to her family.
More than 2,000 troopers from 10 states gathered at First Baptist Church of Ocala to pay their respects to Richard.
"Your presence is a tribute to Chelsea, and to those who knew her and loved her," said Florida Highway Patrol Chaplain Wayne Hunter.
Richard was 30 years old and the mother of a 4-year-old son. She had been with FHP for nine years.
She died in the line of duty -- a nine-year career cut short out on an interstate highway.
"Chelsea proudly put on that badge and uniform each day. She did so to protect all of us," said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at the service.
For Richard's grieving family, her highway patrol family promised they will always be there when needed and to help look after her son Clayton.
"Chelsea, you don't have to worry. Each of us will be here for Clayton. He will know his mother was a great woman, and a hero," said Bruce Richard, Chelsea Richard's father.
Richard was out of her patrol car, in the median of I-75 on Saturday, when she was hit by a pickup truck. Two others, also standing by her, were killed in the crash.