TROY, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- The parking lot at Triad High School was filled Friday night as family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers honored the life of Kyle Deatherage.
Fire trucks suspended a huge American flag across the entrance to the parking lot, paled to include dozens of state police vehicles and patrol cars representing departments from across the area.
Kyle Deatherage, an Illinois State Police officer, was struck and killed by a semi truck during a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Ill. on Monday.
Deatherage, 32, had recently transferred divisions to spend more time with his family. He lived in St. Jacob with his wife, Sarah, and two children, 4-year-old Kaylee and 10-month-old Camden.
“Trooper Deatherage left a legacy of courage and duty and today he is surrounded by the respects of his fellow officers and by the love of his friends and family,” Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau said in a statement. “Our hearts are heavy with grief, but they are also strengthened by Trooper Deatherage’s brave calling.”
Authorities have placed traffic signs warning motorists that Marine Road will be closed on Saturday morning as law enforcement vehicles escort the funeral procession to Marine, Illinois for burial. Trooper Deatherage's funeral will be held at Triad High School on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Illinois State Police officials released the following statement on behalf of Trooper Deatherage's family:
"The family of Kyle would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming outpouring of support in this tragic situation. The love and compassion is something that we will cherish in our hearts forever. Without a doubt, this incident devastates our family, friends, and community. Our lives will be forever changed as we remember the great husband, father, brother, son, and friend that Kyle was. However we would like everyone to recognize the vital and dangerous role that officers play in keeping us safe. We ask that as we use our roadways, please practice safe driving and be aware of our emergency safety workers.
In an effort to promote the memory of Kyle and his family as well as show our support for our law enforcement protectors, two memorial funds have been established at Scott Credit Union in Highland. The Kyle W. Deatherage Criminal Justice Scholarship fund will be used to support a student entering the law enforcement profession. The Kyle Deatherage Memorial Fund will be used to provide for the education of his children."
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn called the passing of Trooper Deatherage a "tragic reminder of the danger our sworn officers face every day as they enforce the law and make all of us safer."
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Kyle Deatherage Memorial Fund can contact the Scott Credit Union in Highland, Illinois, at 618-345-1000.
Authorities have also organized an effort to collect Christmas gifts for the trooper's two children.
Those who want to donate can drop gifts off at the following locations in Illinois and Missouri:
- Alton Police Department (Illinois)
- Collinsville Police Department (Illinois)
- Madison County Sheriff’s Department (Illinois)
- Overland Police Department (Missouri)
- Des Peres Department of Public Safety (Missouri)
- Eureka Police Department (Missouri)
- Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C