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Sep 17

2018-48: Troopers Pribbenow and Thornton to be Honored at Events on Tuesday

Posted on September 17, 2018 at 7:37 AM by Mary Jane King

NEWS  ADVISORY–  September 14, 2018 #2018-48

FOR  IMMEDIATE  RELEASE

CONTACT: Lieutenant Adam Winters, KHP PIO, (785) 296-6800

Troopers Pribbenow and Thornton to be Honored at Events on Tuesday

On Tuesday, September 18, two troopers will be honored as memorial highways are dedicated in their names. Trooper Ferdinand (Bud) Pribbenow will be honored at an event in Wichita, and Trooper James D. Thornton will be honored at an event in Winfield. 

This legislative session, Senate Bill 375 was passed through the Kansas Legislature, and signed into law by Governor Jeff Colyer, designating memorial highways for the Kansas Highway Patrol’s 10 fallen troopers, and one Johnson County Sheriff’s Master Deputy. 

Trooper Ferdinand F. (Bud) Pribbenow
Trooper Ferdinand (Bud) Pribbenow joined the Kansas Highway Patrol on July 13, 1959. Upon graduation from patrol school, he was stationed in Columbus. In 1962, he was promoted to Trooper Class A and transferred to the Patrol's Kansas Turnpike detail in Wichita.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m., on July 11, 1981, Trooper Pribbenow stopped a car for traveling 98 mph in the 55 mph zone on the Turnpike north of El Dorado. As he walked up, the driver leapt out of his car and shot the trooper in the chest. The 23-year-old suspect then shot him in the neck before fleeing.

A physician from Prescott, Arizona, was the first person on the scene after the shooting. He called for assistance on the patrol car radio, but was unable to save Trooper Pribbenow.

In honor of Trooper Pribbenow, K-96 from I-235 to Mount Hope has been designated as the Trooper Ferdinand ‘‘Bud’’ Pribbenow Memorial Highway.

Details:    KHP Dedicates Trooper Ferdinand “Bud” Pribbenow Memorial Highway 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Wichita Lakeview Gardens Cemetery
12100 E. 13th Street North 
Wichita, Kansas 

There will be photo, video, and interview opportunities available. We hope you can join us for this time to honor Trooper Pribbenow, who made the ultimate sacrifice in his service to our state. 

Trooper James D. Thornton
On July 1, 1949, Trooper James D. Thornton joined the Highway Patrol and was assigned as a Driver's License Examiner in Garden City. He was promoted to Trooper in 1951 and began field duties in Finney County. Trooper Thornton transferred to Wellington in 1957. In 1969, he transferred to the Patrol's Kansas Turnpike detail, remaining in Wellington. In September of 1973, he transferred to Topeka.

On October 2, 1973, Trooper Thornton stopped to check on a hitchhiker on Interstate 70 near the east edge of Topeka. While searching the hitchhiker's bag, he was shot and killed. 

In honor of Trooper Thornton, U.S.-81 Highway, from the U.S.-166 Highway junction to the Sedgwick county line, is hereby designated as the Trooper James D. Thornton Memorial Highway.

Details:    KHP Dedicates Trooper James D. Thornton Memorial Highway 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
4:00 p.m.
Winfield Highland Cemetery
Winfield, Kansas
(Go south on US-77 and west on W 33rd Avenue.  Take W 33rd Ave to Amos Becker Road and turn north.  The Highland Cemetery will be on your right.)   

There will be photo, video, and interview opportunities available. We hope you can join us for this time to honor Trooper Thornton, who made the ultimate sacrifice in his service to our state.

Tag(s): Media Release