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Indiana Toll Road Memorial To Honor Three Fallen Public Servants
Updated May 8, 2017 11:02 AM
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(ELKHART CO.) - Indiana State Police Sergeant Nora Werner and the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company (ITRCC) have teamed up to honor the lives of three fallen public servants that were killed in the line of duty along the Indiana Toll Road.

Sergeant Werner came up with the idea to have commemorative signs made in 2016 and approached the ITRCC with the idea. The ITRCC was quick to fund the project that will place memorial signs along the Indiana Toll Road where the three men were killed. The signs have already been placed and will be dedicated at the Toll Road Post Memorial service on Wednesday, May 10.

Master Trooper David Deuter was killed in the line of duty on July 16, 1998 after being struck by a semitrailer while making a traffic stop on the Indiana Toll Road near Howe in Lagrange County. Deuter was standing next to the driver's side door of the vehicle when he was struck. Master Trooper Deuter had served with the Indiana State Police for over 26 years and was assigned to the Toll Road Post. A sign commemorating Deuter will be placed along the west bound lanes at the 129 mile marker.

Trooper Richard Gaston was killed when his patrol car was struck from behind by a west bound semitrailer while he was conducting a traffic stop on the Indiana 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 jack-knifed and struck the vehicle that had been stopped, killing a man and child inside. Gaston had served with the Indiana State Police for only three months.

Dan Miller was killed in operation on October 2, 2012. Miller had served ITRCC as an equipment operator stationed at M2 for 18 1/2 years. Millers life was taken at mile post 39.8 (west bound) while performing roadside work with his crew. Miller was a valued employee at ITRCC, dedicating 100% at all times to the job at hand. "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. He is missed by all that knew him, including me," stated Jeff Dabkowski, one of ITRCC's roadway managers.

Sergeant Werner works out of the Toll Road Post in Bristol where she has spent the last 32 years of her 33 year career. Werner's idea to commemorate the loss of the two troopers and the ITRCC worker was a way to remind the thousands that travel the road every day of their ultimate sacrifice. Werner added, "Each year in May we honor and remember the lives of law enforcement officers that have been lost. This is a way for them to be remembered every day."

Born and raised in Michigan City, Werner holds a B.S. degree from Purdue University North Central and an A.S. degree in Social Work from Calumet College. Werner began her law enforcement career with the state police after entering the recruit academy in 1983. Werner currently supervises Toll Road District troopers who are assigned to work Porter, LaPorte, St. Joseph, Elkhart, and LaGrange Counties.

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