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State Police Honor Fallen Trooper With Thanksgiving Patrol

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Illinois State Police decal. (CBS)

Illinois State Police decal. (CBS)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois State Police launched an aggressive Thanksgiving holiday enforcement effort on the state’s roadways Tuesday called Operation Kyle in honor of a state trooper who was killed a year ago conducting a traffic stop.

State police said they will be “aggressively patrolling Illinois roadways” for 24 hours beginning Tuesday to honor the anniversary of Trooper Kyle Deatherage’s death on Nov. 26, 2012.

“His life was tragically taken from his family and police family two days before Thanksgiving and Operation Kyle will be a strong reminder to the motoring public that safe driving saves lives,” Illinois State Police director Hiram Grau said in a written statement.

Increased efforts won’t just be for one day, although troopers expect high traffic volumes Thursday.

State police said troopers will implement periodic saturation patrols through the New Year’s Day holiday, focusing on speeding, seat belts, drunken driving and distracted driving. State police efforts will be coordinated with the Illinois Department of Transportation, local police and sheriffs.

Officials also reminded motorists that fines have increased to $120 for texting while driving.

Deatherage died when the driver’s tractor-trailer struck him on Interstate 55 near Litchfield in central Illinois about 45 miles south of Springfield. A Georgia truck driver has been charged in Deatherage’s death.

Deatherage, 32, was a married father of two children and had been a trooper since May 2009.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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