Help Fallen Trooper's Children by Donating Toys
Eureka Police Department is one of the drop-off sites for the holiday toy drive being conducted for the children of fallen Illinois State Trooper Kyle Deatherage after a fatal accident last Monday. Scholarship fund started, too.
One set of children won't have their father smiling along with them on Christmas morning. Now local residents have the opportunity to help two youngsters make it through a life-altering event, and area first responders want to help that happen.
Illinois State Police (ISP) Trooper Kyle Deatherage, 32, was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer truck on Nov. 26 during a traffic stop along Interstate 55 near Litchfield. He became the 64th Illinois trooper to die in the line of duty, according to the state police website. He recently had transferred to the ISP District 18’s motorcycle unit to spend more time with his young family.
Officials said he pulled over a vehicle last Monday just after 9 a.m. along the northbound lanes, near mile marker 62, and was struck by a passing tractor-trailer truck. The accident occurred about 60 miles northeast of St. Louis.
Deatherage had parked his motorcycle along the highway and was talking to the driver of the vehicle he stopped when he was killed, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, an online tribute to fallen police.
He lived in St. Jacob, IL, with his wife, Sarah, and two children, Kaylee, 4, and Camden, 10 months old.
Area first responders started a gift/toy collection for Deatherage's family for Christmas. Gifts can be dropped off until Saturday, Dec. 22, at the following locations:
- Eureka Police Department, 120 City Hall Drive
- Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C headquarters, 891 Technology Drive, Weldon Spring, MO 63304
- Overland Police Department, 2410 Goodale Avenue
- Des Peres Department of Public Safety, 1000 N. Ballas Road
Editor's Note: Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C serves St. Louis, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Perry, Pike, St. Charles, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Warren, and Washington counties.
Several police stations in Illinois also are collecting items.
Sgt. Scott Barthelmass, volunteer firefighter with Eureka Fire Protection District, said there are other options to help this family or to memorialize the trooper's public safety service.
Deatherage had been one of 29 Illinois troopers sent to New Jersey to help with cleanup efforts after Hurricane Sandy.
Memorial contributions can be made to one or both of these initiatives:
- “Scholarship Fund for Kyle W. Deatherage Children’s Education”
- “Kyle W. Deatherage Criminal Justice Scholarship Fund” at Triad High School.
Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland, IL, is the entity collecting financial donations for these funds. Contributions can be mailed to the funeral home at P.O. Box 187, Highland, IL 62249. For specific questions, call 618-654-2133.
For additional information about the holiday toys and gifts collections, contact Sgt. Scott Barthelmass (Overland PD) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Olivia Johnson (author of Behind the Badge) at email@example.com