Trooper Ray X. F. Krueger

Trooper Ray X. F. Krueger

Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota

End of Watch Friday, November 20, 1959

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Ray X. F. Krueger

Trooper Ray Krueger was killed in an automobile accident when another vehicle struck his patrol car head-on on Highway 210 near Brainerd at 0935 hours.

He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries two hours later.


Trooper Krueger had been employed with the Minnesota State Patrol for 25 years and is survived by his wife and five children.

Bio

  • Age 47
  • Tour 25 years
  • Badge 30

Incident Details

  • Cause Automobile crash

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Posted on November 20, 2019 Brainerd Dispatch

60 years ago today, a local state trooper died while on duty

Ray Krueger drove more than 1 million miles without a crash in his years of patrolling state highways. The driver of the second vehicle was apparently making a left turn in front of Krueger's squad when the vehicles collided.

Krueger, 47 at the time of his death, left behind his wife Alyce to raise five children — ages 17, 15, 7, 5 and 2 at the time of his death — on a $120 per month pension. In late October, a 15-mile stretch of the highway between Baxter and Motley was dedicated as “State Trooper Ray Krueger Memorial Highway.”

Krueger started with the state patrol March 15, 1934. According to a Brainerd Dispatch story published after the 1959 fatal crash, Krueger drove more than 1 million miles without a crash in his years of patrolling state highways. Krueger was known as "the best driver on the state patrol by fellow officers." The driver of the second vehicle was apparently making a left turn in front of Krueger's squad when the vehicles collided.

The Krueger family has a long lineage in law enforcement. Ray Krueger’s father, John, was a constable in Garrison. His brother Paul was a game warden, and his other brother Al was Crow Wing County sheriff. Ray’s son Jeff Krueger joined the military police in the Army, and Jeff’s daughter Heidi Lenk pursued a career in law enforcement. Lenk is the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office undersheriff. Lenk became an Aitkin County jailer/dispatcher in 1995 and a year later was hired as deputy sheriff. She has been with the sheriff’s office for 22 years.

“There is no greater sacrifice I can think of and no better way for us to honor those who have gone before us than to remember them and that is really all we can do for the Krueger family,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the state patrol, during the Oct. 21 highway dedication. “We can remember Ray, remember his legacy, remember his story and now not only will the state patrol remember his story, but all the people going up and down the highway will remember his story. And maybe think for a minute of what the decisions they make when on the roads and what Ray Krueger stood for.”

Langer said all state patrol troopers take an oath that includes swearing they will lose their life rather than swerve from the path of duty.

“We would rather give our life than swerve,” Langer said. “Ray did that that day as other troopers and law enforcement officers have.”

Langer said Krueger’s partner was at the scene of Krueger’s crash.

His partner went to help him and Krueger told the partner, “You better go help the other guy, he is worse off than I am,” Langer repeated in telling the story. “So when you think about that sacrifice, you think about our oath. You think about Ray lying there injured and that is what he was thinking -- to go help the other guy. … When he got to the hospital he took a turn for the worst, but that is who he is.”

The Minnesota State Patrol posted a remembrance of Krueger to its Facebook page Wednesday.

Retired Police Officer
NYPD

November 20, 2019

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