Trooper Dalton honored with US 171 memorial designation

August 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm

*published Aug. 24, 2010
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

At a Monday ceremony dedicating a stretch of U.S. 171 to fallen state police Trooper Duane Dalton, his co-workers remembered him for his humor and willingness to help others.

Dalton was killed in a Jan 12 on-duty accident on U.S.. 171.

As his training officer, Trooper Josh Duhon described Dalton as a great teacher, using personal lessons he learned while on duty as a freshman trooper.

“I have to say I learned more from him than any other FTO,” Duhon said.

“His training style was hands-on,” said Trooper David Lonkowski. “He believed in showing you and leading by example.”

Lonkowski said Dalton “never ran across a strang–er.” “He tried to make everyone feel comfortable,” Lonkowski said.

Trooper John Goodly described Dalton as a super nice guy who was quick to provide backup to other troopers on a call.

Dalton was a native of Radford, Va., and came to Southwest Louisiana during his time in the Army.

He worked for the Lake Charles Police Department before moving to state police, where he worked in gaming and patrol.

“He liked the fact that he helped people, whether it be an arrest in a domestic disturbance or a traffic accident,” Duhon said.

Dalton was also a fun person to work with, according to the troopers at the ceremony, who said he “could make anyone laugh.”

“I referred to him as the gentle giant because he was huge,” Goodly said of Dalton, who stood about 6 feet 4 inches tall. “If he came to your scene and you had an unruly person or something, they’d see him and quiet down.”

“Little did they know he was harmless. He’s definitely missed, along with his corny jokes.”

The one-mile stretch of U.S. 171 dedicated to Dalton runs from Sam Houston Jones Parkway to You Winn Road.

The proclamation came about from a bill co-sponsored by State Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Moss Bluff, and Sen. Willie Mount, D-Lake Charles.

His widow, Charissa, thanked the attendees for the dedication as well as the help she has received from them since her husband’s death.

“The support has been overwhelming. They’ve all been there to help me with anything I’ve needed, from yard work to whatever. They’ve been there,” Charissa Dalton said.

link: http://bit.ly/9xoV6h

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