Fourth trooper to die this year in Missouri patrolled Oregon County
TROOP G -- For the fourth time this year a Missouri State Trooper has died in the line of duty and once again the death of the officer hits close to Oregon County.
State Trooper Kevin Floyd, 45, of Texas County was killed Sept. 22 after a Ford truck pulling a trailer struck him along U.S. 60 near the Texas County town of Dunn. The officer had pulled a car over for speeding and was headed back to his patrol car when he was struck by the truck.
The driver of the truck, Forest L. Ghan, 65, of Republic, told officers he was leaning over to pick up some papers on the floor of his truck when he struck the officer. The death brings the number of officers killed in the state to an all time high for any one year.
Floyd had spent the majority of his 19-year law enforcement career with Troop G. Troop G in a nine-county area in southern Missouri that includes Oregon County.
Floyd was airlifted to St. John's Hospital in Springfield where he was pronounced dead just after 1:30 p.m. He was a 1977 graduate of Licking High School.
Floyd joined the Highway Patrol in 1986. He leaves behind his wife, Cheryl, a teenage son and a teenage daughter.
Troop G information officer Sgt. Marty Elmore said charges are pending. He said visibility on that stretch of roadway was good. "It's just incomprehensible to lose another officer," Sgt. Elmore said.
This is the second Troop G officer to be killed this year. In March Trooper Dewayne Graham was shot and killed at his home near Van Buren in Carter County.
Just five weeks ago, Cpl. Jay Sampietro, 36, of Rogersville died in a similar accident after a vehicle struck him near Strafford. In the weeks following Sampietro's death, Sgt. Elmore said, patrol officers pleaded with drivers to obey the state law passed two years ago that requires them to slow down and move to the left lane when they see emergency vehicles with their lights activated.
State Trooper Michael Hargus who lives in Thayer said in the future he will have no tolerance for breaking the law. "I am tired of going to the funerals of people I know and work with," he said. "From now own if I have a vehicle stopped, the first vehicle I see whizzing by that does not slow down and make an effort to get in the other lane on a two - or four - lane highway will be ticketed."