LITCHFIELD – Officials from Illinois State Police (ISP), Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Troopers Lodge 41 were joined by state legislators, friends and the law enforcement community to honor fallen ISP Trooper Kyle Deatherage by officially designating a rest stop in his name.
ISP officers, along with Mrs. Sarah Deatherage and family members, unveiled the new rest stop signs on the northbound and southbound Coalfield rest stop exits at milepost 64 on Interstate 55. The Trooper Kyle Deatherage Memorial Rest Stop is the first rest stop to be named after a fallen ISP Trooper.
On November 26, 2012, while on patrol as a motorcycle officer, Deatherage was conducting a traffic stop on the shoulder of northbound I-55 at milepost 62 when he was struck and killed by a truck tractor semi-trailer. Deatherage joined the Illinois State Police in 2009 and was 32 at the time of the fatal crash.
Law enforcement officials, legislators, friends and family attending the ceremony acknowledged Deatherage for his bravery and countless contributions to public service, including when he voluntarily traveled to New Jersey to aid the area damaged by Hurricane Sandy. November 26, 2012, was Deatherage’s first day back to duty after returning from service on the East Coast.
“For the first time, an ISP 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,” ISP 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 ISP.”
The efforts to rename the rest stop were initiated by State Rep. Wayne Rosenthal of the 95th District and sponsored by several state senators, including Sen. William (Sam) McCann of the 50th District.
"As a dedicated trooper with the Illinois State Police, Kyle gave his life in service of our great state," Rosenthal said. "His passion, honor and respect for his family and brethren will never be forgotten. Today we join in memorializing this rest stop as a reminder of the sacrifices Trooper Deatherage gave to protect and serve Illinois."
"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,” State Sen. Sam 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.”
In August 2013, memorial signs were placed on Interstate 55 at milepost 62, marking the location of the crash that ended Deatherage’s life.
Thursday’s ceremony was held at the northbound rest stop renamed in the officer’s honor.
Deatherage was born in Maryville in 1980 and graduated from Triad High School in 1998. He held an associate's degree in criminal justice from Lewis and Clark Community College.
Deatherage is survived by his wife, Sarah, his daughter, Kaylee, and his son, Camden. Other surviving family members include his parents, grandmother and siblings.