Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
(Photograph links provided below)
Oregon's sixth roadside memorial sign remembering fallen Oregon State Police (OSP) Sergeant James Rector and Trooper Scott Lyons was unveiled Thursday morning during a ceremony in Bend. Following the ceremony, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) employees took the sign to where it will be posted along Highway 97 in the Gilchrist area near milepost 187. Sergeant Rector and Trooper Lyons died September 2, 1997 in a traffic crash when their patrol vehicle collided with a commercial motor vehicle near Crescent, Oregon.
On August 9, 2012, State Representative Andy Olson, OSP Superintendent Richard Evans, Representatives Jason Conger and Mike McLane, Oregon Department of Transportation officials, and current and retired OSP troopers joined the officer's family and friends in front of the OSP Bend Area Command office. Representative Olson and Superintendent Evans spoke during the unveiling followed by touching comments from Trooper Lyons father, retired OSP Senior Trooper Bill Lyons, and Sergeant Rector's wife, Carol, and his son, Senior Trooper Scott Rector. This is the first roadside memorial sign placed along an Oregon highway outside of the Willamette Valley.
In addition to the signs unveiling, OSP Lieutenant Carl Rhodes announced that a plaque previously dedicated to both officers' memory that had been displayed in the Gilchrist area was moved and permanently placed at the entrance to the Bend Area Command office. Rhodes thanked ODOT and Deschutes County Sheriff's Office for their help with the plaque's removal and placement at its permanent home in front of the OSP Bend office.
Sergeant Rector, age 46, was a 24-year OSP veteran in charge of the Gilchrist outpost after being promoted to sergeant 3 months before he died. Twenty-one of his 24 years with OSP was spent assigned at the Gilchrist outpost during which he worked with neighborhood watch groups and was a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer in the local school. A Vietnam War veteran, he was named Klamath County OSP Officer of the Year (1995) and received the Oregon Police Officer Medal of Honor. During his law enforcement career, he was wounded twice in five separate police shootings. His son, Scott, is a Senior Trooper assigned at The Dalles Area Command office, who wears the same badge number as that which was worn by his father when he joined OSP. (http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/sgt_james_rector.shtml)
Regarded as a rising star in the Department's ranks, Trooper Lyons was with OSP for almost two years when he died at the age of 23. He grew up in the Bend area and followed his father, retired Senior Trooper Bill Lyons, when he joined the Department as a full-time trooper after working four seasons as an OSP cadet at Government Camp, Florence, and Coos Bay. (http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/scott_lyons.shtml)
About Oregon's roadside memorial signs:
The 2011 Oregon legislature passed House Bill 3039 creating a limited, but official way to memorialize fallen police officers in Oregon. Roadside memorial signs have previously been erected along:
* Interstate 5 north of Albany (OSP Senior Trooper Maria Mignano and Albany Police Officer Jason Hoerauf)
* Highway 126 in the Eugene/Springfield area (Eugene Police Officer Chris Kilcullen)
* Interstate 5 in Salem (OSP Superintendent Holly Holcomb, Sergeant Richard Schuening, and Recruit Trooper Dan Nelson)
* Interstate 5 south of Woodburn (Woodburn Police Captain Tom Tennant and OSP Senior Trooper William Hakim)
* Highway 99E north of Gervais (Marion County Deputy Kelly Fredinburg)
Photograph links valid 30 days
(Carol Rector and Scott Rector addressing those attending ceremony)
(Representative Olson addressing crowd at ceremony)
(Roadside memorial sign after display on Highway 97 milepost 187)
(Plaque moved to OSP Bend office)
(Sergeant James Rector)
(Trooper Scott Lyons)