TROY, IL (KTVI) -Illinois Governor Pat Quinn joined mourners in Troy Friday express their condolences for the death of state trooper Kyle Deatherage who was killed while working a traffic stop on Monday. Police officers from around the nation are expected to attend the funeral Saturday.
The 32-year old officer had been with the Illinois State Police since 2009 and had just completed his motorcycle training last summer. He had volunteered for a day shift so he could work traffic patrol riding the cycle.
He was killed when a truck tractor semi struck him on the shoulder of I-55 in Montgomery County.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers and friends came to the visitation Friday at his alma mater, Triad High School. His funeral service will be held at the high school on East Highway 40 in Troy, IL beginning at 10am on Saturday. A long procession of police cars and first responder vehicles will join the funeral procession to the Marine City Cemetery after the service.
Hiram Grau, head of the Illinois State Police, praised Deatherage for his commitment to his job and his family. Grau promised the department would watch over Deatherage's wife Sarah and their two small children.
One of the trooper's partners, Trooper Dan Menke said he would always remember Deatherage's honesty and sense of fairness. "People looked up to him, I really looked up to him, he was my role model for sure," he said.
Deatherage had received a criminal justice degree from Lewis and Clark College. He first worked as a police officer in Staunton and then a sheriff's deputy in the Madison County Sheriff's Department.
Community efforts are underway to help his wife and their two children, a daughter age 4 and a son age 10 months. Donations to benefit the children's education can be made to the Kyle Deatherage Memorial Fund and sent to the Scott Credit Union.
Students at Triad High School raised four thousand dollars for the family during lunch hour collections. They also signed posters expressing their sympathies for the trooper's family including his brother, Kenny Deatherage who is a business teacher at the high school.
"It is tough; losing anybody associated with the school has been pretty devastating," said Rodney Winslow, high school principal. Winslow said the school is also organizing a scholarship program in Deatherage's honor. His wife requested that the proceeds fund college scholarships for high school seniors who want to prepare for a career in criminal justice.
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