I recently attended an event that merits special comment. On Monday, the family of Highway Patrolman Ray Krueger and law enforcement members from across Central Minnesota officially dedicated a portion of State Highway 210 between Brainerd and Motley as the “State Trooper Ray Krueger Memorial Highway.”
Trooper Krueger was killed in an automobile accident when his patrol car was hit head-on by another vehicle on Highway 210 near Brainerd on Friday, Nov. 20, 1959.
This honor was long overdue, as next month will mark 60 years since Trooper Krueger’s untimely passing. Kreuger’s family including brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren gathered at the State Highway Patrol Office at Brainerd to commemorate the occasion.
Capt. Dwyer and Col. Langer of the Minnesota State Highway Patrol and Sen. Paul Gazelka spoke at the gathering honoring Trooper Krueger and publicly thanked the Krueger family for their sacrifice. The Krueger family has a long and proud history in law enforcement with some of Trooper Krueger’s family still serving today.
Trooper Krueger's father served as a constable in Garrison. A brother, Paul, was a conservation officer. Brother Al Krueger served as Crow Wing County sheriff. Jeff Krueger, Ray's son, served with the U.S. Army military police. Heidi Lenk, a granddaughter, serves with the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office.
After a brief ceremony, the group lead by a large contingent of law enforcement vehicles drove the short three miles to the Cass County line where State Trooper Ray Krueger Memorial Highway begins. At the site, five members of the Kreuger family cut special ribbons marking the opening of the memorial highway.
Sen. Paul Gazelka and Representative John Poston authored legislation naming the segment of Highway 210 which finally became law earlier this year. I was honored to serve as a co-author on Rep. John Poston’s bill honoring Trooper Krueger.
It is important to recognize the sacrifice the men and women in law enforcement make every day to ensure our safety. Trooper Krueger is survived by a wife and five children. We can never repay the sacrifice made by Trooper Krueger or his family, but as we pass by the “State Trooper Ray Krueger Memorial Highway” sign, I invite you to join me in offering a prayer for the safety of all the wonderful men and women serving in law enforcement today.