PIKE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Family and friends of late KSP Trooper Jonathan Leonard gathered Thursday night to pay tribute to his memory.
Leonard served more than 3 years with Kentucky State Police before being killed in a crash December 19, 2006, while responding to call on US 119 in Pike County.
"He was very passionate about his job. He loved it. He loved KSP, and he loved working with the public, helping, trying to make a difference, even a small difference. He tried," said Karen Leonard, Jonathan Leonard's mom.
"He was very well respected and a very hard-working trooper. He was very committed to the community over here and in Pike County," said KSP Post 9 Captain Sean Welch.
Thursday night, just like every December 19 since that day, dozens gathered remembering the man they say left a lasting impression on anyone he met. Flames flickered and lanterns floated to the heavens.
"It's very heartwarming to see the support for the family and the fact that Jonathan's service and who he was to all of us hasn't gone forgotten so long after the fact. He meant a great deal to us and still does," said Welch.
It is a vigil that allows Leonard's memory to continue burning in the minds of those who knew him.
Leonard was 28 years old when he died.
Before his death no troopers had died on duty in 18 years.