'Deadliest Day' victims honored

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

CADDO, OK -- It was nearly 30 years ago that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol suffered its deadliest day. Three troopers were killed in a gun battle with two escaped fugitives.

The outlaws were on the run for more than one month...killing for the thrill of it

Emi FitzGerald was in Caddo today where victims were remembered in a memorial service. The OHP honor guard gave a 21 gun salute and played taps to honor three fallen state troopers. Hundreds attended in their memory.

The tragedy ended here three decades ago when two escaped convicts were finally gunned down after a 34-day killing spree. Three troopers died in the gun battle. Law enforcement say it is the scariest possible situation to be in, and very important to remember.

”For the people that lived here at the time it ranks right up there with the events that happened to us nationally,” said Captain Ronnie Hampton.

Sgt. Kevin Nave was playing outside in that Caddo neighborhood when he saw the OHP plane fly overhead. He was 10 years old at the time, and ran inside after state troopers told them to run.

"I was freaking out pretty, much. scared and trying to get to the house as fast as I could," he says.

Those events that day were one of the main reasons he decided to work in law enforcement. Nave is a sergeant in the Bryan County Sheriff's Office.

The events are still so vivid even thirty years later.

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  • by midniteryder Location: Sherman on May 28, 2008 at 08:47 PM
    This really has built up my respect for the folks who serve in the OHP. I can tell you, every time I had encounters with them, they were professional, courteous, and didn't treat me like a criminal (it does help to be polite and can the attitude- some of you cop-bashers could learn that lesson). May the good Lord bless and keep these troopers safe.
  • by Linda Location: Oklahoma on May 28, 2008 at 08:42 AM
    The names of the fallen Troopers are Billy Young, "Pappy" Summers, and Pat Grimes. All the OHP Troopers are trained to save lives and protect the citizens of this state. They put their lives on the line EVERY DAY. Often the troopers are cussed at, shot at, critisized when making traffic stop. Yes, there are some troopers who are less than perfect (but in what profession will you find perfection?) And yet, when we have troubles, who gets the call for help? Who has to go to the door and tell a family that their loved one has died? These troopers live with these incidents every day. These 3 men made the ultimate sacrifice while doing their duty. All three men were veteran officers, and each day they knew their lives could end in a single moment. Forever in our hearts, forever grateful for their duty. Forever thankful that the legacy of these men wikll be instilled in all the future Troopers.
  • by Trooper Location: Supporter on May 27, 2008 at 02:30 PM
    These men gave their life to protect the lives of the innocent. I truly respect these men, may God bless them and their families. Rest In Peace your job on earth has been completed.
  • by Taxpayer Location: Mead on May 27, 2008 at 11:17 AM
    Here is the link for more information about this day. http://www.ohptrooper.com/caddo.htm I had always heard my parents and older relatives talk about the fugitives and how scared they truly were. My dad worked nights and had to teach my mother how to use a gun. I was only four at the time, too young to remember. When Michael St. Clair was on the loose in the early 90's a lot of folks in Bryan County would talk about this event in relation to how scared we were then.
  • by Geneva Willis Location: Sherman on May 27, 2008 at 08:13 AM
    Okay,can we also have the troopers names or is this a new Jeopardy game ?????
  • by Anonymous Location: Whitesboro on May 27, 2008 at 08:08 AM
    I remember when this was going on. My father was a volunteer deputy for Grayson County at the time and he was gone many nights on the search for these guys. It was a very scary time and I can remember having a gun at all the doors in the house just in case they came to our house. We couldnt even go out and play. It was so scary. I thank God that we have brave men and women to protect us as these officers died protecting us.
  • by Rita Miller Location: Denison on May 27, 2008 at 08:08 AM
    If my memory is correct,their names were Claude Dennis and Michael Lancaster.It would have been nice had their names been mentioned by the youngster doing the story.
  • by Anonymous on May 27, 2008 at 08:08 AM
    dennis and lancaster
  • by Anonymous on May 27, 2008 at 07:37 AM
    who were the fugitives?
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