State leaders on Thursday dedicated a pair of interstate rest stops in honor of a fallen state trooper.
The rest stops on each side of Interstate 55 at milepost 64 near Coalfield have been officially be named the Trooper Kyle Deatherage Memorial Rest Stops.
For the first time, an Illinois State Police trooper's name will be forever remembered at a rest stop for the public to see and today we honor that recognition with pride and gratitude," Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau said. "Kyle was a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice and he leaves behind a legacy of courage, integrity and pride. The Kyle Deatherage Memorial Rest Stop is here to stay and will be a constant reminder of his brave calling and dedicated service to the Illinois State Police."
Deatherage, from Maryville, was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 26, 2012 when he was struck by a truck driver while conducting a traffic stop. He was 32 years old when he was struck about two miles away from the rest stops near Interstate 55 milepost 62.
State Sen. Sam McCann was one of several Illinois legislators who pushed for the rest areas to be named in honor of the fallen trooper.
"Today we pay tribute to a selfless hero and I am pleased to be here with trooper Deatherage's fellow officers, his wife and children who I know miss him every day," McCann said. "While I wish we never had to erect memorials like this one, it was my honor to help facilitate its approval in the General Assembly. This rest stop will serve as a permanent reminder of his courage and his service to the people of this state."
The dedication took place at 10 a.m. at the rest stop on the northbound side of Interstate 64.
Deatherage's wife, Sarah, his daughter Kaylee and his son Camden were in attendance along with representatives from the Illinois State Police, the Fraternal Order of Police, the state General Assembly and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
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