GALAX, Va. (WDBJ7) One year ago Friday Army Veteran and Carroll County Deputy Curtis Bartlett was killed.
His police cruiser hit a tractor-trailer on his way to assist with a pursuit.
Since then his passion of living healthy has encouraged millions who viewed his fitness videos online. His family is living inspired. It's the family mantra that's kept them going this past year.
No doubt it's been a tough time, but through it all they've discovered Curtis Bartlett's passions and legacy will live on. They've had some help to get through it from a four legged friend.
He wasn't trained to be a therapy dog but that's exactly what Tyco has been for Curtis Barlett's parents Sam and Linda.
"It has been therapeutic to know that he would want this dog to be happy. He loved his dog. So, we have been through it together. He's part of the family," Sam Bartlett said.
Tyco was with Curtis Bartlett the night he died. He was trained for serious police work, but since the wreck, Tyco took time away from sniffing for bombs and is healing too.
"Bonding together, knowing that all of us have some source of pain and hurt in our lives has been what we've tried to do as a family in moving forward," Sam Bartlett said.
In their home in Galax, Sam and Linda have a framed painting of their son. That is just one of many expressions of love and support sent to the family after his death. Bartlett's physical conditioning and healthy living tips reached millions through Police Fitness, an online resource he founded to help people improve their lives.
"One of the best ways you can honor your loved one is by continuing to live, continuing to serve, continuing to make a difference," Sam Bartlett said.
Curtis Bartlett most definitely made a difference. He helped people lose weight, improve the image of law enforcement, and he lived inspired.
His legacy lives on. Galax High School is raising money for a new fitness center named in his honor. Friday morning Sam Bartlett got a one thousand dollar check to help fund the center.
"To have people be so passionate a year later about Curtis' vision that we all ought to be fit to serve if we're in public service especially first responders and law enforcement officers it's hard to explain. It's just incredible and makes us feel proud of Curtis and his accomplishments and it helps to keep his memory alive," Sam Bartlett said.
Sam Bartlett tells us he plans to make a big career move to keep Bartlett's memory alive.
He's served as the pastor at First Baptist Church of Galax for eight years but is stepping down in August to lead Police Fitness and help inspire others throughout the country.