Officers Pay Tribute and Hope to Raise Awareness in Work Zone Safety
(Woodstock/Downer’s Grove/Chicago) Starting today, Illinois State Police will demonstrate their solidarity and support for an IDOT Construction Engineer, Ryan Nichols, who was fatally struck on August 22, 2011, by a vehicle while performing his duties at the job site on Route 14 at Route 47 & Dean Street in Woodstock.
Ryan, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, began his employment with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Region One in May of 2002 after working for Wisconsin DOT. Ryan was assigned to the Bureau of Construction as an Inspector.
“We work hand in hand with our IDOT partners on a daily basis to raise the awareness of safety on the roads to reduce traffic crashes and prevent loss of life. Our Troopers want motorists and the community to see the orange ribbons and think about Ryan and his tireless dedication as an IDOT worker to building safer roads,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.
“Our hearts are heavy with grief for this young man and his family because troopers know firsthand about the dangers that come with the job in public safety,” said ISP Operations Colonel Robert Haley.
Illinois State Police and IDOT are also encouraging motorists and fellow employees in the Woodstock area to join them in showing their support by attaching an orange ribbon to car antennas during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
“Woodstock police will join our ISP partners in demonstrating support for Ryan and his family and we hope that our collective message raises awareness to the dangers involved in the field of public safety,” said Woodstock Chief Bob Lowen.
More than 300 ISP squad cars from the Elgin, Chicago and Downer’s Grove Districts will affix orange ribbons to squad car antennas.
Ryan leaves behind a wife, a 2-year-old son, and 5-month-old twin boys.