Illinois Honors WWII Veteran Trooper Layton Davis, Killed 48 Years Ago Today by Escape Convicts on Interstate 57


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Effingham, IL – On the 48th anniversary of his line-of-duty death, Illinois pays tribute to Trooper Layton Davis, a World War II veteran and dedicated officer of the Illinois State Police, who was fatally shot on Interstate 57 near Effingham by two escaped convicts on March 18, 1976. Serving in District 12, Trooper Davis had devoted 19 years of his life to ensuring the safety of Illinois citizens when the tragic incident occurred.

The confrontation began when Trooper Davis, conducting a routine traffic stop, unknowingly engaged with two convicts on the run. One of the escapees had hidden a .357 caliber revolver in his waistband, which became the focal point of a fatal struggle as Trooper Davis discovered it. The aftermath of this confrontation led to the capture of the assailants, who were later sentenced to over 100 years in prison for their actions.

Remembered as a hero who served his country in World War II before joining the police force, Trooper Davis’s legacy is one of bravery, sacrifice, and dedication to public service. He left behind a wife and three children, who, along with the Illinois State Police and communities across the state, honor his memory and commitment to duty. Today, Illinois reaffirms its vow to never forget Trooper Layton Davis and the ultimate sacrifice he made 48 years ago.


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