Lieutenant Thomas Sumner Rettberg

Lieutenant Thomas Sumner Rettberg

Utah Highway Patrol, Utah

End of Watch Friday, February 11, 2000

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Thomas Sumner Rettberg

Lieutenant Thomas Rettberg was killed when the OH-58 Bell helicopter he was piloting crashed during a routine maintenance flight.

The rotor blades seized up during the flight, causing the crash. The helicopter then landed on its side in a field. A mechanic onboard was also killed.

Lieutenant Rettberg was a U.S. Navy veteran. He had served with the Utah Highway Patrol for 25 years, and had been a pilot for 22 years. He is survived by his wife, three children, five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and a sister.


  • Age 58
  • Tour 25 years
  • Badge 136
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

Most Recent Reflection

View all 25 Reflections

17 yrs. since the end of your watch have not dulled the pain of your absence. The hours-long telephone calls, your silly jokes, the family visits. The duet singalong with the "paint your wagon" sound track on our road trip to California. So many things. You were so energetic and fun loving it's hard to believe they could be silenced in the blink of an eye.
At the funeral home visitation the people you had touched with your service and wanting to pay their respects were lined up around the block outside. One after another they told us stories about what you had done for them or even saved their lives as a trooper. Remember when you were a rookie, your buddies called you "the easter bunny" because you gave more warnings than tickets. You are such a hero. Love you.

Dr. Betty Spangler
Tom's Sister
Spring Texas

March 24, 2017

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