Hundreds pay respects to Wyoming native who died while working as Idaho sheriff's deputy
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Hundreds pay respects to Wyoming native who died while working as Idaho sheriff's deputy

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Funeral

Members of the honor guard fold the flag during the funeral for Bonneville County Sheriff's Deputy Wyatt Christopher Maser on Friday in Fielding Memorial Park Cemetery in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — The weather did not hide its grief the day Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Wyatt Maser was laid to rest.

It rained steadily for most of Friday. The weather set the mood for the day’s events, leaving those preparing for the procession at Fielding Memorial Cemetery soaked. It let up minutes before the procession arrived, stretching nearly a mile, providing a reprieve for those who came to grieve Maser’s passing.

Hundreds of people, including law enforcement officers from across the state, attended Maser’s funeral. It was the kind of gathering that has been rare since the coronavirus pandemic began, but they came to pay their respects for Maser in a show of solidarity.

As the procession arrived, officers and members of the honor guard stood in solemn silence, saluting as his casket, wrapped in the U.S. flag, was carried to his resting place.

Chaplain Tim Rupp of River of Life Church, which holds services for law enforcement officers, conducted the funeral.

Maser died Monday while responding to a rollover crash on Bone Road. A woman exited the car with a machete and ignored orders from Maser and another deputy to drop the weapon. She walked away from the deputies, and while they were pursuing her on foot, a third deputy arriving on the scene to provide support struck Maser with his patrol vehicle. Maser was transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

Maser’s death has drawn support and attention from across the nation. The funeral was livestreamed Monday by Chris Heisler from U.S. Honor Flag.

The U.S. Honor Flag is an organization that transports a single U.S. flag to fly into locations across the world in honor of military, firefighters and law enforcement who have been killed in the line of duty. Maser is the first Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office deputy to die in the line of duty in 82 years. He also served in the United States Air Force between August 2015 and April 2018.

The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office had asked law enforcement from out of state not to attend due to the pandemic. Visitation at Wood Funeral Home was also limited to 10 people at a time.

An obituary for Maser said he was born in Thermopolis and grew up in Casper. He graduated from Kelly Walsh in 2014 and served in the Air Force from 2015-2018.

Maser worked for the sheriff’s office for 13 months, being hired while undergoing his POST Academy training, which he completed in August 2019. He was described as an avid hunter in his obituary.

“Wyatt, you will be missed as much as you were loved,” Rupp said.

The Wyatt Maser Memorial Account, a donation fund set up for Maser’s family though the Fraternal Order of Police and ISU Credit Union, is accepting donations. It can be reached at 208-235-7100.

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