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Deputy Weist's final send-off: Community members line procession route to honor fallen deputy

A public memorial was held Saturday for Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Weist who died in the line of duty on April 29.

GALESBURG, Ill. — Community members in Galesburg lined the streets Saturday as the funeral procession for Deputy Nicholas Weist made its way from Viola to Galesburg High School for a public memorial.

Weist, 34, was struck and killed by a suspect during a police pursuit while he was setting up spike strips at the intersection of US-150 and 150 Avenue in Henry County on Friday, April 29. 

Among those in the crowd was George Walter. He used to work for the Department of Corrections in Galesburg.

"I wanted to come out and show my respect," Walter said. "It was sad, very sad. You don't really want this to happen to anybody, let alone the people that are trying to protect the people that are in the country."

Also there to pay their respects was Joel Hawkins.

"It's a tragedy," Hawkins said. "(He was just) doing his job, like everybody else is always supposed to be doing their job. (I wanted) to just come down and be respectful to the guys that are still left out here and the officer that was taken."

Thousands of flags lined the processional route and outside of Galesburg High School. Many of the community members who came to watch the procession and honor the deputy were also holding flags, including Jody Lafollette and her mom Carolyn Griffith.

"It just brings tears to your eyes to see everything. It's very humbling," Lafollette said. "We appreciate his service and our thoughts and prayers are with him and will continue to be."

They sent their best wishes to Weist's family and coworkers as well.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Illinois and Iowa also attended the memorial service. 

Weist is survived by his wife and two children, as well as his parents, grandfathers, and several siblings.

According to Weist's obituary, memorials can be made to Quad City Bank & Trust, 3551 7th St. #100, Moline, IL 61265, in memory of Nicholas Weist.

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