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Memorial Service planned at site of I-57 shootout in Paxton

Paxton city leaders will join Ford County officials and state legislators later this month to memorialize the site where a police shootout nearly 40 years ago claimed the lives of law enforcement officers along I-57.

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold has spent time organizing the event to dedicate an I-57 overpass where Illinois State Police trooper Michel McCarter, Paxton city patrolman William Caisse and civilian Donald Vice died in a bloody shootout with the Lampkin brothers – after a traffic stop along the interstate.

The state of Illinois will officially dedicate the scene as the "McCarter-Caisse-Vice-Hale Memorial Overpass."

The dedication is on the calendar for 10 a.m. October 22 at the Paxton firehouse.

Also expected to attend are state Rep. Tom Bennett and state Sen. Jason Barickman. The lawmakers played leading roles in passing legislation to establish the memorial.
Also expected to attend is then-Paxton officer Larry Hale, who was wounded during the shootout, but recovered.

Mayor Ingold told the News-Gazette this piece of history “deeply affected this community.” The event welcomes the public.

The memorial will recognize the overpass at Ford County Road 200 N, just south of Paxton. The Illinois Department of Transportation will erects signs along NB and SB I-57 to recognize the “McCarter-Caisse- Vice-Hale Memorial Overpass.”

An Illinois House Resolution was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner, after being introduced by Bennett and Barickman.

It was the infamous Monroe Lampkin murder trial that put the Ford County area on the map back in 1979. The Lampkin brothers, from Michigan, were on their way to Tennessee when the traffic stop triggered the shootout.

94.1 WGFA