The Cass County Board of Supervisors today (Thursday) approved a Resolution authorizing Board Chair Duane McFadden to sign of a letter of support naming two bridges in the County in honor of two State Troopers who were killed in the line of duty 23-years ago.
Lt. Michael J. Miller, with the State Patrol, said the Iowa Legislature granted permission
ISP Lt. Michael J. Miller (left) speaks to the Cass Co. Supervisors
to rename bridges in the State of Iowa, as Memorial Bridges for fallen Troopers. Miller said since the State Patrol was formed in 1935, 10 Troopers have lost their lives in the line of duty, with two having died in Cass County. Trooper Pilot Lance Dietsch and Trooper Stanley Gerling were killed in an airplane accident on June 30th, 1989, southwest of Atlantic. The pair had been searching for an elderly man who had wandered off, and were about to call off the search when they troopers located him in a soybean field. They began to circle the area when the plane made a sudden turn and crashed vertically into the ground. Troopers Dietsch and Gerling were the first aircraft fatalities since the addition of the Patrol Airwing in 1956.
Miller said his job was to try and locate a couple of bridges close to where the accident occurred, and suggest they be named in honor of Dietch and Gerling. The two bridges he chose are west and northeast of Lewis, and were not already named in honor of a notable individual. They included the #432 bridge west of Lewis, which crosses Indian Creek, and the #464 bridge northeast of Lewis, over Turkey Creek. The Indian Creek bridge will be named in honor of Dietsch, while the Turkey Creek bridge will be named in honor of Gerling.
Miller said the 6-foot by three-foot signs were created by the Iowa Dept. of Transportation and are ready to be installed by the State.