TROY, IL (KTVI)-Family and friends said goodbye to Illinois State Police Trooper Kyle Deatherage. They got help from law-enforcement officers nationwide. Police cruisers from Staunton, IL and Creve Coeur, MO were joined by those from the Chicago Police Department, Texas State Highway Patrol, Louisiana Highway Patrol and others.
“I am a professional mourner,” said Dennis Hallion, executive director for the National Troopers Coalition. “We average about 10 on-duty deaths a year on the state police level.”
Whenever a law enforcement officer permanently leaves his or her post with a department, for any reason, the day and time of the departure is known as their End of Watch. Deatherage's End of Watch was November 26, 2012 just after 9:00am. Trooper Deatherage was working a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Illinois when he was struck by a semi-tractor trailer. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Saturday morning, his brothers and sisters with ISP worked traffic control like they do every day. This time, it was to help family and friends say goodbye to the young trooper.
"Down deep inside, they're hurting. We're all hurting," Hallion said as he looked across the parking lot, covered with law-enforcement on one side and friends and family on the other. "But because they know that this is something they have to do for Kyle, for his family, they're going to put on that face -- that professional face."
The funeral was held at his alma mater, Triad High School. He was laid to rest at Marine Cemetery in Troy, Illinois.
Deatherage was 32 years old and leaves behind a wife and two small children. He had been a member of the Illinois State Police since May 2009 and worked as a motorcycle officer.