Fallen Troopers memorial service in Madisonville
Madisonville, Ky. (WTVQ)– Kentucky State Police Post 2 personnel honored fallen troopers Cecil Uzzle and Joseph Ward Jr. at a ceremony on Thursday at Salem Missionary Baptist Church Morton’s Gap. A wreath was placed at Trooper Uzzle’s grave in commemoration of National Police Officers Memorial Week.
Trooper Cecil Uzzle, age 28, was fatally injured in a vehicle collision on May 28, 1964, while accompanying Trooper Elmer Mobley Jr. in response to a call for assistance in Pike County. Their vehicle struck large rocks that had fallen in the roadway and were hidden by heavy rain and dense fog. Trooper Mobley was also killed. Trooper Uzzle was assigned to Post 9 Pikeville and had served with the Kentucky State Police for two years. He is buried in the cemetery at Salem Missionary Baptist Church near Morton’s Gap in Hopkins County. In honor of his service and sacrifice, KY 1460 in Pike County has been designated the Trooper Cecil W. Uzzle Memorial Highway.
Trooper Joseph Ward Jr., age 25, died April 23, 1973, after being struck by a vehicle, while investigating a vehicle collision on the Pennyrile Parkway in Christian County. Trooper Ward sacrificed his life by pushing a subject out of the path of an oncoming vehicle. Trooper Ward was assigned to Post 2 Madisonville and was a four-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police. He is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Grant County, KY. In honor of his service and sacrifice, US 25 from Dry Ridge Road to KY 491 in Grant County has been designated the “Trooper Joseph Ward Jr. Memorial Highway”.
On May 24, 2011, Debbie Ward accepted the Governor’s Medal of Valor on behalf of her brother-in-law, Trooper Ward. This award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an officer of the agency for heroism in the line of duty under circumstances of extreme personal hazard. It is awarded only by order of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.