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Troop G memorial in the works

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A fund has been set up to purchase and install a memorial honoring Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) officers that died in the line of duty, to be placed at Troop G headquarters in Willow Springs. 

The appeal for donations has been put forward by retired patrol major Mike Pace, MSHP Captain Mark Inman, and former West Plains mayor Jack Pahlmann.  

The memorial, to be created by Wommack Monument of Springfield at a cost of $16,000, plus an additional $4,000 for lighting and landscaping, will feature the names of Troop G officers Trooper Kelly Poynter, Sgt. Dewayne Graham Jr., and Trooper Donald Floyd. 

Donations may be mailed to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks at 1378 Bill Virdon Blvd., West Plains, MO, 65775, with a note on the check indicating the donation is intended for the Troop G Memorial.

Poynter died Jan. 18, 2002, while working a vehicle crash on U.S. 63 in Texas County, when struck by a vehicle not involved in the initial crash, and was survived by a wife and two children. A wrecker driver was also injured in the incident, and the driver involved was found to have been driving while intoxicated. Poynter was 27 at the time of his death.   

On March 20, 2005, Graham, 37, was found by a passing motorist lying on the ground at his home near his patrol car, dead from gunshot wounds, just outside Van Buren in Carter County. Investigation into the incident led to the arrest and conviction of a man Graham had been investigating as a suspect in a fatal car accident where the driver left the scene, and the shooter was found guilty of the murder of Graham and sentenced to death in 2009. Graham was survived by a four-year-old son. 

Trooper Donald K. “Kevin” Floyd, 45, suffered fatal injuries when struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop on Sept. 22, 2005, on U.S. 60 in Texas County. He was survived by his wife and two teenage children, a son and daughter. 

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