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Kansas Highway Patrol honors fallen trooper on Manhattan highway 54 years later

MANHATTAN, Kan (KSNT) - On Friday, the Kansas Highway Patrol presented a dedicated highway sign to fallen Trooper John McMurray, who was killed over 50 years ago.

Trooper McMurray was killed in 1964, on the side of K-18 in Manhattan, when a drunk driver hit him.

Starla Price, the daughter of Trooper McMurray, was 5-years-old when she lost her father. Today, she got to see her father's sacrifice be remembered on that same highway.

"Even 54 years later, I still remember it like it was yesterday," Price said. "Just the fact that they still remember his sacrifice 54-years later is just unbelievable."

Even though the highway dedication is overwhelming to Price, she is honored to see him recognized.

"I can't think of a more fitting memorial for him cause that's what they do. They put their lives on the line when they go out on the road," Price said.

Trooper McMurray's memorial is one of many highway memorials for fallen Kansas Highway Patrol troopers. Kansas Highway Patrol Colonel Mark Bruce started the memorial initiative when he became superintendent.

"It was a project that began in 2018," Colonel Bruce said. "Early this year with Kansas Legislature, where a bill was introduced, and worked it's way through the legislature session. Signed by the Governor on May 8th which then kicked off the events that we've been hosting statewide."

Colonel Bruce also said the highway memorial was the right way to honor these troopers.

"It makes perfect sense that they would be memorialized on those highways where they worked to protect the public, and ultimately gave their lives," Colonel Bruce said.

Starla Price is thankful for all the support she's received from the Highway Patrol over the last 54-years.

"They donated blood, they gave money," Price said tearfully. "They were a family. And so it's still on both of our minds all these years later how close knit of a community they truly are."

Trooper McMurray's sign is one of 10 highway memorials that will be put across the state for troopers who were killed in the line of duty since 1937.

The last sign will be put up in October of this year.

For a list of the other nine highway memorials, click here.


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