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ST. GEORGE — A memorial cross was unveiled in Southern Utah Friday in honor of a Utah Highway Patrol trooper who died last month after being struck by a vehicle while trying to alert motorists of a low-hanging power line.
A 14-foot-tall cross memorializing Trooper Eric Ellsworth was erected along I-15 among 14 other white metal crosses already standing. Each cross bears the name and badge number of a fallen Highway Patrol trooper killed in the line of duty, reminding the public of those troopers’ service and ultimate sacrifice.
The crosses, placed on private property owned by DATS Trucking located at 321 N. Old Highway 91 in Hurricane, face northbound traffic and can be seen just north of I-15 Exit 16.
Don Ipson, a state senator and president and CEO of DATS Trucking, said he erected the crosses in 2007, following a lawsuit that had been filed alleging the crosses — originally placed near the areas where the troopers had died – violated the U.S. Constitution. The suit argued that the placement of crosses on public land violates the principle of separation of church and state.