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KSP honors fallen troopers

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by Staff

The week of May 12 -19, 2019 is National Police Officers Memorial Week. On May 15, beginning at 9 a.m. EDT, Kentucky State Police Post 4 Troopers will be traveling to the gravesites of their fallen brethren and placing wreaths in honor of their ultimate sacrifice in service to the citizens of the Commonwealth. KSP troopers are scheduled to begin with the ceremony for Trooper Edward Harris and Trooper William Pickard at Red Hill Cemetery in Hodgenville at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15.

Trooper Edward R. Harris, age 29, was fatally shot Nov. 7, 1979, during the course of a traffic violation stop. According to a witness, Trooper Harris was struck first by a shot fired from inside the suspect’s vehicle and again as he lay in the road. Trooper Harris was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and had served with the Kentucky State Police for six-and-a-half years. He was survived by his wife and three young children. He is buried at Red Hill Cemetery in Hodgenville, KY. In honor of his service and sacrifice, KY 3005 in Hardin County has been designated the “Trooper Edward Harris Memorial Highway”.

Trooper William F. Pickard, age 26, was fatally shot on January 21, 1976 while attempting to serve an arrest warrant in LaRue County. Trooper Pickard had accompanied two Hodgenville police officers to the home of the suspect, who had been charged with assault and wanton menacing. As Trooper Pickard approached the front door, the door flew open and a shotgun blast was fired, striking the trooper fatally. Trooper Pickard was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and had served with the Kentucky State Police for four years. He was survived by his wife and 13-month-old son. Trooper Pickard is buried at Red Hill Cemetery in Hodgenville, KY. In honor of his service and sacrifice, a five-mile stretch of KY 61 in LaRue County has been designated the “Trooper William F. Pickard Memorial Highway”.

Others that will be honored include:

Trooper Lee Trebu Huffman, age 27, was struck and killed by an automobile May 19, 1953, while working a vehicle accident in Hardin County. He was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and had served with the Kentucky State Police for two years. He was survived by his wife and young son. Trooper Huffman is buried at Zachary Taylor Cemetery in Louisville, KY. In honor of his service and sacrifice, KY 218 in Metcalfe County has been designated the “Trooper Lee T. Huffman Memorial Highway”.

Lt. Willis D. Martin, age 44, died April 26, 1977, in a vehicle accident in Hardin County. He was assigned to Post 4 Elizabethtown and was a 20-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. He is buried at Hardin Memorial Gardens in Elizabethtown, Ky. In honor of his service and sacrifice, a six-mile stretch of KY 251 in Hardin County has been designated the “Lt. Willis Martin Memorial Highway”.

Sergeant David R. Gibbs, age 42, was traveling westbound on KY 210 near the Green and LaRue County line when he entered a rain soaked sharp curve. His marked KSP vehicle traveled into the oncoming lane where it was struck by another vehicle. Sgt. Gibbs was pronounced deceased at the scene August 7, 2015. He was in route to provide an official escort to a funeral procession. Sgt. Gibbs was assigned to Post 15 Columbia and had served the Kentucky State Police for over 17 years. He was survived by his parents and a son. Sgt Gibbs is buried in the Rineyville Memorial Cemetery in Hardin County.

Trooper Joseph ‘Cameron’ Ponder, age 31, was fatally shot on September 13, 2015 while conducting a routine traffic stop on Interstate 24 in Lyon County. Upon receiving his commission as a Trooper, he was assigned to Post 1, Mayfield, where his death came only nine months into his career. Trooper Ponder is buried at Kentucky Veteran’s Cemetery in Ft. Knox, KY. Interstate 24 in Lyon County, from the Caldwell County line to its intersection with Kentucky Route 293, is designated as the Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder Memorial Highway.

According to Trooper Sharp, if the weather forces a change, they will move the services to Thursday, May 16.