Trooper Kyle Deatherage, recent transfer to the Illinois State Police motorcycle unit, was struck and killed by a truck during a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield. He transferred to the new unit to spend more time with his young family.
Deatherage, 32, from Highland, started out in law enforcement as a Madison County sheriff’s deputy in 2004 and began working for the state police in May 2009.
Deatherage was married to Christin Deatherage and they have two children: Kaylee, 4, and Camden, 10-months-old.
Christin said that Kyle moved to motorcycle duty because it allowed him to take day shifts instead of night shifts, permitting him to see more of his family.
The director of state police, Hiram Grau, and Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz, agree that this was a tragic loss and Deatherage was a wonderful police officer who was very dedicated and brave.
Deatherage is survived by his parents, Barry and April Deatherage, also from Highland, and two brothers and a sister, in addition to his wife and two young children.
Deatherage was one of less than 30 Illinois troopers sent to help cleanup after Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.
Officials say that Deatherage stopped a vehicle just after 9 a.m. along the northbound lanes, near mile marker 62, when he was struck by a passing tractor-trailer truck. The scene is about 62 miles northeast of St. Louis, but no other details have been provided as to whether or not charges were expected against the truck driver.
Deatherage had parked his motorcycle on the side of the road and was talking to the driver of the pulled-over vehicle when he was hit and killed.
The highway was closed for four hours while the scene was investigated.
Deatherage was the first Illinois trooper to die in the line of duty since October, 28, 2007, when Trooper Brian McMillen was killed. McMillen has responded to a disturbance call when his patrol car collided with two drunk drivers. Both drivers went to prison. Deatherage is the 64th Illinois trooper to die while on duty.
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