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LITCHFIELD, IL (KTVI) – Illinois State Police say a trooper was struck and killed in an accident on northbound Interstate 55 near Litchfield, IL Monday morning. He has been identified Trooper Kyle Deatherage, 32.

Deatherage was conducting a traffic stop just after 9 a.m., when he was struck by a semi tractor-trailer on I-55 at milepost 62.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Word of the tragedy spread quickly through the area.  Ramona Odorizzi works at a local service station.  She said, “It just broke my heart you know. They work out there for us every day trying to save lives and it’s just sad.”

People who knew Trooper Deatherage described him as good man. 

Master Sgt. William Guard of the Illinois State Police said, “He was a very well liked officer. He did his job excellently.”

Kyle Deatherage is the second trooper in the area to die in the past two months.  Master Sgt. Bob Price drowned in a boating accident in Hillsboro in September.  Trooper Deatherage had been a member of the Illinois State Police since May 2009 and worked as a motorcycle officer. He is survived by his wife, Sarah, and two young children.

One local citizen said, “It’s heartbreaking. It’s bad enough anytime but with the holidays it’s just sad.”

Northbound I-55 was shut down in Montgomery County as crews cleaned up after the crash. An investigation into the accident is ongoing.