PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — An overpass, where officers were killed 40-years ago, will now bear their names forever. It happened at the I-57 overpass on County Road 200 North, in 1979.
Monday, it was dedicated to four men who were killed there following a traffic stop. State Trooper Michael McCarter, his brother-in-law Donald Vice and Police Officer Bill Caisse were killed. Officer Larry Hale was also shot, but survived.
This was an emotional day for family members. Many came from states away to be at the dedication. They joined hundreds who packed the Paxton Fire Station to watch.
The signage has been a long time coming. The goal is to remember the sacrifices these men made to keep the public safe.
Last year, city leaders were pushing for legislation to allow the name change. State leaders helped them make it happen. Monday, Michael McCarter’s son, came from Indianapolis for the dedication.
He was 18-months old when his dad died. He says this day is bittersweet.
The overpass will now forever be called the McCarter – Vice – Caisse – Hale Memorial Overpass. McCarter says hge hopes when people drive by it, they’ll remember his dad.
McCarter, Caisse and Vice were killed April 7, 1979. They stopped four speeding cars on I-57 outside Paxton.
Vice, who was a civilian, was in the car with McCarter. The men they pulled over got out of their cars, ran onto the overpass and started shooting.