The Interstate 55 overpass at Towanda (Exit 171) will now be known as the “Officer Patrick Michael Righi Barnard Memorial Overpass” after the Illinois Senate adopted House Joint Resolution 67, which was sponsored by State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington).
“Patrick was beloved in his hometown of Tremont, remembered for his unique sense of humor and his passion for living life to the fullest,” said Brady. “He was respected by his colleagues in the Burbank Police Department and the Markham Police Department. He had also served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a military police officer.”
In 2004, 30-year-old Officer Barnard was headed home to Tremont the night before Thanksgiving after his patrol shift with the Burbank Police Department ended in Cook County. On I-55, near Bloomington, he stopped to help a stranded motorist, and was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.
“It is our hope that proclaiming the I-55 overpass at Towanda (Exit 171) as the ‘Office Patrick Michael Righi Barnard Memorial Overpass’” will serve as a lasting reminder of Officer Barnard’s ultimate sacrifice that night in the service of others,” Brady told his Senate colleagues.
Present in the Senate gallery for the resolution were Officer Barnard’s parents Cathy and Bob Barnard.