EKU prepares to host Ellis visitation, funeral

RICHMOND, Ky. – Thousands from across Kentucky and beyond are expected to arrive at Eastern Kentucky University’s Alumni Coliseum on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Wednesday, Nov. 11, to pay their final respects to Daniel Neil Ellis, the Richmond police officer who lost his life in the line of duty last week.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. today (Tuesday, Nov. 10) at the Coliseum, with funeral services at the same site at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11. General parking will be available in the Alumni Coliseum lot Tuesday, and those attending the visitation should enter the Coliseum through the lower-level entrance on the west side near the water tower.

The general public is welcome to attend the funeral service on Wednesday. Alumni Coliseum seats approximately 7,000, and the EKU Center for the Arts, across the Eastern By-Pass from the Coliseum, will serve as an overflow area, with an additional 2,000 seats. A live video stream will be available at the arts center. General parking on Wednesday will be available at the Center for the Arts, with pedestrian access to the Coliseum. Additional parking will be available at the Brockton Commuter (behind Brockton housing and the Dizney Building), Ashland (off Kit Carson Drive between Roy Kidd Stadium and the Perkins Building), and Fitness and Wellness Center (just north of the stadium) lots, with shuttle service provided from those locations.

Because of the expected large crowds, traffic delays are expected on and around the EKU campus, especially on Wednesday. Except for funeral traffic, the Eastern By-Pass will be closed from Lancaster Avenue to Kit Carson Drive prior to the service and motorists are urged to avoid the area unless attending events at the Coliseum.

The Alumni Coliseum and Whitlock Building lots will remain closed, except to family and first responders, until the funeral procession clears the area sometime Wednesday afternoon. In addition, the Mattox Hall Lot is closed on Wednesday. All EKU classes are canceled from 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10 through 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, but the University will be open on a normal schedule and staff will report as usual. Also, Model Laboratory School will close at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday and remain closed through Wednesday.

The district will be using school buses as shuttles from 3 locations in Richmond – Madison Central High School, First Baptist Church on the Bypass, and Eastside Community Church off Irvine Road. These shuttles will be open to the public. There will be 5 shuttle buses available at each of the 3 locations. The last shuttle will leave each of those locations by 9:30 a.m. The shuttles will be permitted to drop people off at the EKU Center for the Arts. When the service concludes, those same buses will be available at the Center for the Arts to transport people back to their original locations.

At the conclusion of the service on Wednesday, a 100-mile-long funeral procession will depart the Coliseum, head east on the Eastern By-Pass, then north onto US 25 (Big Hill Avenue). It will proceed through downtown Richmond before picking up I-75 South at Exit 90. The funeral procession is expected to leave the Coliseum at approximately 12:30 p.m., and citizens are encouraged to line the procession route, which will be closed to vehicular traffic for an undetermined period of time. The procession will continue south along I-75 until Exit 62, after which it will follow KY 461, KY 80 and the Cumberland Parkway until it arrives at the Jamestown exit. From there, it will continue on KY 127 North, KY 70, KY 206 (Liberty Road) and Pellyton East Road in Adair County, where Officer Ellis will be laid to rest.

Any additional information on traffic impact and the processional route and time will be disseminated through the University’s RAVE alert system and linked from the EKU home page and updated as necessary.

Officer Ellis, as well as his wife, Katie Elizabeth Gruenwald Ellis, assistant principal at Madison Central High School, graduated from EKU.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, Funderburk Building, Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Ave., Richmond, Kentucky, 40475-3102, or to Supporting Heroes, PO Box 991547, Louisville, Kentucky, 40269-1547.

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