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Sons of fallen deputy outbid at auction for dad’s squad car, get keys anyway

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. – A man who purchased the former service car of a fallen sheriff’s deputy during an auction on Wednesday gave the vehicle to the deputy’s son, Tanner Brownlee.

Tanner was 15 when his father, Deputy Sam Brownlee, was killed in the line of duty during a police chase in 2010.

Tanner and his brother, Chase, recently began raising money to bid on their father’s squad car. The money raised at the auction would go to C.O.P.S., Concerns of Police Survivors, which raises money for families of officers killed in the line of duty.

The Dodge Charger, with 147,000 miles, was valued at $12,500.

“If we do get it tonight, I kind of hope my mom will let me drive it around tonight,” Tanner told ABC Denver.

Tanner and Chase raised $3,000 dollars before the auction. On Wednesday night, the bids quickly escalated past what Tanner could afford.

A local rancher won the car for a bid of $60,000. Immediately after he was given the keys, he turned to Tanner and said, “Tanner. Here’s your car.”

Tanner said he will donate the $3,000 he raised to C.O.P.S.

“This is just so huge. I mean, me and my dad built a fence and stuff, but having something I can use, and drive around that he drove around, it just means a lot,” Tanner told CBS Denver.

After the auction, Tanner unlocked his father’s car and drove it home one more time.

“It just, it means so much to me. I thank everyone for that,” said Tanner.