AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – It’s a rare occasion for a state trooper to have two bridges in the commonwealth named in their honor.
But Trooper Lucas Dowell is the exception.
“When the high school kids come up here to the school every day they can always look out the bus window and see the sign and Google what happened to Lucas and how he died for us that day trying to get rid of drugs,” said Steve Martin, chaplain of the Amherst Volunteer Fire Department.
Trooper Lucas Dowell was a member of the Appomattox tactical team.
He was killed during a shootout while assisting with a search warrant in Cumberland County in February.
Martin started a petition shortly after Dowell's death to rename the bridge over Route 29 for the man who put his life on the line.
“It was a tragic loss because he was so sweet and had the sweetest smile, pretty blue eyes and he treated everybody with respect and dignity,”
Martin collected more than 2,000 signatures for the petition.
Dowell’s mother talked about what this means for his family.
“Everyone works together and shows respect and the effort to rename the bridge in his memory is just one example of that. Importantly for us, it also means that this community will always have a reminder of Lucas and that he will never be forgotten. Mike and Erica and I thank you,”
Those involved in helping to dedicate the bridge say it could never be enough.
“Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Dowell we will be forever grateful to him and to you all. His family and may God bless each of you,” said Jimmy Ayers, Amherst County Board of Supervisors.
The Dowell family was presented with a smaller version of the bridge dedication plaque.
They hope people will remember their son and brother and continue his legacy of caring and protecting others.
Trooper Dowell will have another bridge dedicated in his memory near his hometown in Smyth County on Nov 1.