Statement issued Monday:
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. – On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, at 11 a.m., the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will be unveiling signs designating the Jason E. Beal Memorial Highway on SR 14 in Kosciusko County, extending approximately 3 miles between SR 13 and the Whitley County line. Indiana State Police (ISP) troopers will be in attendance to honor the late ISP Trooper Jason E. Beal during the unveiling, which will take place at MP 98 by the Kosciusko/Whitley County Line on SR 14.
During the 2010 General Assembly, because Trooper Beal gave his life in defense of others, former Representative William Ruppel authored House Concurrent Resolution 18 to rename a section of SR 14 in Trooper Beal’s honor. INDOT is erecting two signs designating the Jason E. Beal Memorial Highway, one near MP 98 and the other near MP 96.
On January 12, 2000, Trooper Beal was patrolling in southeastern Kosciusko County. He stopped near midnight along SR 14 to assist a wrecker operator, who was pulling a car out of a ditch. As the two men worked alongside the icy road, the driver of a passing vehicle lost control of the car, striking the wrecker and the state trooper. Trooper Beal later died from his injuries.
“Jason’s death came as a heartbreaking blow to our state police family at Bremen. Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with this type of tragedy. The dedication of this stretch of SR 14 will ensure that Jason’s sacrifice will never be forgotten,” commented ISP Sgt. Trent Smith.
Trooper Beal left behind a widow, Emily, and a son, Cody, who was born five months after Trooper Beal’s death.