Chesterton Tribune



ISP and Toll Road honor three fallen public servants

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Indiana State Police Sgt. Nora Werner and the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company (ITRCC) are partnering to honor three public servants killed in the line of duty along the Indiana Toll Road.

It was Werner’s idea in 2016 to post memorial signage along the Toll Road for the three. The ITRCC, for its part, was quick to fund the placement of the signs at the locations where the three perished.

The signs have already been posted and will be dedicated at a ceremony later this week, the ISP said.

Master Trooper David Deuter was killed July 16, 1998, after being struck by a semitrailer while making a traffic stop on the Toll Road near Howe in Lagrange County. Deuter--who was standing next to the driver's side door of the vehicle when he was struck--had served with the ISP for over 26 years and was assigned to the Toll Road Post. A sign honoring him has been placed along the westbound lanes at the 129 mile marker.

Trooper Richard Gaston was killed when his patrol car was struck from behind by a semi while he was conducting a traffic stop on the Toll Road at milepost 74.2 in St. Joseph County. Gaston, sitting in the driver's seat, was killed instantly and his field training officer was seriously injured in the accident. After the semitrailer struck their patrol car it jackknifed and struck the vehicle which had been stopped, killing a man and child inside. Gaston had served with the ISP for only three months.

Dan Miller, an equipment operator for the ITRCC, was killed on Oct. 2, 2012 after serving on the Toll Road for almost 19 years. Miller died in the westbound lanes at milepost 39.8 while performing roadside work with his crew. “Dan was well liked by all of his coworkers who still to this day tell stories and talk about their experiences working alongside him for many years,” ITRCC Roadway Manager Jeff Dabkowski said. “He is missed by all that knew him, including me.”

Werner works out of the Toll Road Post in Bristol where she’s spent the last 32 years of her 33 year career. Werner’s goal: to remind the thousands who travel the road every day of the three’s ultimate sacrifice. “Each year in May we honor and remember the lives of law enforcement officers that have been lost,” Werner said. “This is a way for them to be remembered every day.”



Posted 5/9/2017




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