Springfield – Illinois State Police (ISP) officials said farewell to their fallen brother, Trooper Ryan Albin, star number 5718. Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the country made the trip to central Illinois to pay their respects to this fallen hero as well. Trooper Albin was laid to rest today with full honors at Bellflower Cemetery.
Trooper Ryan Albin was killed in the line of duty on June 28, 2017, when he was traveling on I-74 westbound near Farmer City, and his vehicle collided with a box truck as both vehicles entered a construction zone. Trooper Albin joined the ISP in 2006 and was currently assigned to District 6 in Pontiac as a canine officer.
Director Leo P. Schmitz fondly recalled memories of Trooper Albin as he eulogized him during today’s funeral. “Ryan took such pride in serving and protecting. Over and over he worked to make a difference to positively impact the citizens of Illinois,” said Director Schmitz. “It will take time to heal. It will take time to rebuild. But Ryan would want us to carry on,” Schmitz added.
Trooper Albin grew up in Bellflower, Illinois. He attended Bellflower Grade School, Blue Ridge Junior High, and Blue Ridge High School. Trooper Albin obtained a bachelor’s degree from Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. Trooper Albin was an inspiration to his fellow officers who often consulted with him for guidance. He will be remembered for his work ethic and dedication to selfless service.
Trooper Albin is survived by his parents, two sisters, a six-year-old daughter and a two year-old son.
Flags are at half-staff in Hoopeston as the community mourns the loss of its police chief. Chief Mark Drollinger died early Thursday. He was 54. He’d been battling oral cancer for the last year.
It was just this week that businesses around Hoopeston posted signs thanking Drollinger for his service. It was exactly one year ago today – on July 6th,, 2016 – that Drollinger went through what he called a ‘’very, very complicated surgery’’ after cancer was discovered in his mouth.
Drollinger noted that he never smoked or chewed tobacco. He said he had always been afraid of dentists. But he urged people who find something unusual in their mouth to get it looked out.
Drollinger worked with the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department from 1988 until 1999. But then, he said he saw the ‘’golden opportunity’’ to be Chief of Police in his own community of Hoopeston.
A garbage truck messed up I-65 traffic in Newton County, IN yesterday. The garbage truck got tangled in the guardrails, south of the Kankakee River.
State police said the crash happened just after 5:30 a.m. on I-65 in a construction zone.
A semi was hauling trash from Chicago to a landfill in Monticello. The driver ran off the roadway and struck a guardrail twice. The second impact caused the semi's tires to become lodged under the guardrail.
The semi driver was not injured. The right lane of I-65 South was closed for more than 1½ hours.
There’s signs all over the city of Hoopeston expressing love and support for Police Chief Mark Drollinger. The chief is battling terminal cancer. But spirits remain high.
The chief’s wife, Susie Ward-Drollinger, said the signs that started appearing around town for the July 4th holiday – thanking the chief—are inspirational and so much appreciated. She says they’re getting lots of support.
The message boards are still up – including a large sign at Hoopeston’s McFerren Park.
Mrs. Drollinger said ‘’The people of Hoopeston have been so supportive of Mark through this journey.’’
Susie Droller added all of the support received from the community has made a rough road a little easier.