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Fallen trooper honored

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CONTRIBUTED PHOTOSGATHER AND HONOR:Friends and family of late ISP Trooper Robert Lather pose next to a newly-minted memorial mile on U.S. 31 in his honor.
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GATHER AND HONOR:Friends and family of late ISP Trooper Robert Lather pose next to a newly-minted memorial mile on U.S. 31 in his honor.

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

A portion of U.S. 31, from mile marker 174 to mile marker 175, was renamed during the afternoon Nov. 2 in honor of fallen Indiana State Trooper Robert Lather.

Trooper Robert Lather II died on July 6, 1982 while responding to a call for assistance from a Howard County sheriff’s deputy, according to an ISP press release.

The deputy was in pursuit of a vehicle going over 95 miles per hour and, in an effort to slow the vehicle down, Lather pulled in front of the car and was killed when the speeding vehicle ran into his police car.

“Trooper Lather served with the Indiana State Police Department for almost eight years,” stated information from the release.

In honor of Lather’s sacrifice, a memorial mile sign dedication ceremony was held in which family and friends of Lather along with Indiana State Representative Bill Friend, ISP personnel and local emergency workers were in attendance.

“The renaming of the road was due to the efforts of Indiana State Representative Bill Friend who authored, along with Representatives Michael Karickhoff and Karlee Macer, House Concurrent Resolution 44 urging the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename U.S. 31, from the 174 mile marker to the 175 mile marker, the Trooper Robert Lather Memorial Mile,” stated information from the release.

The resolution was then sponsored by State Senator Randy Head.

During the ceremony, Friend read the resolution honoring Lather’s sacrifice while Lather’s widow, Teresa, their two children, Rob and Breanne, and other family members watched.

“They thanked the law enforcement community, Representative Friend, and the Indiana Department of Transportation for making sure Trooper Lather’s sacrifice will not be forgotten,” said the release.

Lather was the 29th Indiana State Trooper to die in the line of duty and the second trooper to die in the line of duty working from the ISP Peru Post.

“He was preceded by Sergeant Glen R. Hosier who died April 26, 1971, of a gunshot wound he received while leading officers up the stair case of a Miami County home,” stated the release. “He was attempting to arrest a murder suspect.”

Lather and Hosier’s sacrifices won’t be forgotten along with the recent deaths of Master Trooper Detective David E. Rich, who died on July 5, 2007, from a gunshot wound he received after he stopped to assist a stranded motorist who opened fired on him on U.S. 24 in Wabash County.

Trooper Daniel R. Barrett also lost his life in the line of duty on Jan. 27, 2008 when his police car left the roadway and struck a tree while attempting to catch a speeding vehicle on U.S. 31 in northern Fulton County, according to the release.

The sacrifice these men made will never be forgotten and motorist will always be reminded of Lather’s sacrifice when they travel on U.S. 31 from mile marker 174 to mile marker 175.