State troopers, two others get Illinois roadways named in their honor

By Kevin Beese Staff reporter

Christopher Lambert

State lawmakers will name stretches of Illinois roadways in honor of two state troopers, a soldier killed in the Vietnam War and a Madison County Medevac pilot.

Two of the honorary designations are for individuals who died in the 1960s.

All the proposals unanimously passed the state House of Representatives on Feb. 27.

A stretch of Illinois Route 53 will be named in honor of state Trooper Richard Warner who was killed in 1969 by a suicidal man inside Illinois State Police District 5 headquarters in Lockport.

Warner was a 12-year veteran of the Illinois State Police.

The portion of Route 53 in Lockport that passes the ISP’s District 5 headquarters will be designated “Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway.”


Richard Warner

A stretch of Interstate 294 will be designated in honor of a state trooper who was killed in January.

Trooper Christopher Lambert was on the scene of a three-vehicle crash in the left lane of I-294 near Northbrook at 4:43 p.m. Jan. 12. He was handling the crash when another vehicle failed to stop and struck Lambert while he was outside his patrol car. Lambert was taken to Glenbrook Hospital for his injuries, but he died that same evening.

Lambert had begun his career with the ISP in 2013. He had recently been assigned to the criminal patrol team for District 15 based in Downers Grove.

“Trooper Lambert exemplified the Illinois State Police’s motto of integrity, service (and) pride,” reads the resolution for naming the road in his honor presented by state Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield).

Lambert grew up in Dayton, Ohio and served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves for eight years.

Lambert is survived by his wife, 1-year-old daughter, and his parents.

The stretch of Interstate 294 between mile markers 49.25 and 50 will be designated “ISP Trooper Christopher Lambert Memorial Highway.”

Larry Mills

A Madison County resident killed when his life flight plane crashed will have a portion of Illinois Route 143 named in his honor.

Medevac pilot Larry Mills was killed in 2016, along with flight nurse Deborah Kroon and flight paramedic Michelle Tarwater and patient April Rodriquez when his Cal-Ore Life Flight plane went down east of McKinleyville, Calif.

Mills was born in Warner Robins, Ga. and his family moved to Marine in 1973. He graduated from Triad High School in 1980 and was an emergency medical technician and 12-year veteran of the Marine Volunteer Fire Department.

State Rep. Charles Meier (R-Okawville) said Mills was an exceptional pilot and instructor who flew gliders, helicopters, dual aircraft and taught at Schafer Airport in St. Jacob. He had more than 30 years of flying experience and had contracts with the U.S. Army and Air Force to train pilots.

A scholarship in Mills’ name has been established through the Highland Area Community Foundation, recognizing his life and career as a pilot who gave his life helping others.

Glenard Gregory

Illinois Route 143 from Route 4 east through Marine will be designated “Larry D. Mills Memorial Highway.”

A Macoupin County resident who was killed in the Vietnam War will have Route 16 through his hometown of Shipman designated in his honor. The roadway will be named “Sgt. Glenard Jay Gregory Memorial Road.”

Glenard Jay Gregory was born in Shipman and enlisted in the Army in 1967. He served as a field artillery basic with Battery A of the 1st Battalion, 27th Artillery, 23rd Artillery Group, II Field Force. He started his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1968 and was injured on April 19, 1969, dying the next day at the age of 20, just days before he was scheduled to return home.

He was awarded the Vietnam Campaign, Vietnam Service, National Defense, Purple Heart, Good Conduct and Expert Sharpshooter medals and the Bronze Star.

Gregory is buried in Shipman Cemetery in Macoupin County.

The Illinois Department of Transportation will erect signs designating the recognized memorial roadways.

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