July 02--HANNA CITY -- A 10-mile stretch of Illinois Route 116 has been renamed in honor of a volunteer firefighter who died in a crash while responding to a blaze two days before Christmas in 1997.
West Farmington Road from North Greengold Road to North Cramer Road has been designated the Assistant Fire Chief Brian T. Hauk Memorial Highway.
"He was a very dedicated member of our department," said David Tuttle, chief of the Logan-Trivoli Fire Protection District. He and Hauk shared the same title at the time of the crash.
Hauk, who was 32 years old when he died, had volunteered with the department since he was 17 and was promoted to assistant chief less than six months before the crash that claimed his life.
New signs placed along the two-lane highway announced the change Tuesday. The designation came from resolutions sponsored by State Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, and State Rep. Mike Unes, R-East Peoria.
That portion of Route 116 stretches across the territory covered by the Logan-Trivoli volunteers.
"More than a decade after his death, the Hanna City community still remembers Brian Hauk's commitment to protecting their homes and loved ones," Koehler said in a release marking the renaming. "His family, friends and fellow firefighters still grieve his loss. This memorial will help everyone remember his sacrifice and remind them of the risks that firefighters take for all of us every day."
Matt Buedel can be reached at 686-3154 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JournoBuedel.
Copyright 2014 - Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.