CHICAGO (KFVS) - Officials from the Illinois State Police (ISP) honored fallen ISP Trooper Erin Sweeney Hehl, #3863 and civilian pilot George Kurelic, Jr., during a special dedication ceremony at the Burr Ridge Police Department.
According to a news release from ISP, law enforcement officials from the Illinois State Police announced that the Trooper Erin Hehl Memorial Overpass signs were posted by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) earlier this year on both sides of the IL Route 83 overpass at Interstate 55.
Also recognized was George Kurelic, Jr., the civilian pilot, U.S. Marine, and Army National Guard soldier, who was also killed during the fatal helicopter crash at Frankfort Airport on October 30, 1997.
"While we cannot bring our heroes back, we can honor their dedication to service and reflect upon the selfless calling of this noble profession," said ISP Director Hiram Grau. "The highest honor that can be bestowed upon an Illinois State Police officer or any member of the law enforcement community is to remember them for their bravery, courage and character. The memorial signs remind family, friends, colleagues and motorists of the risks and dangers taken every day by police officers," Grau added.
A memorial at the ISP northern Air Operations Bureau is also being designated to reflect Kurelic's honor.
Trooper Hehl was born in Chicago and graduated from Niles Township High School. She held a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.