CHILHOWIE, Va. – Dozens gathered Friday afternoon to remember and honor a Virginia State Police trooper who died in the line of duty earlier this year.
Virginia legislators, Smyth County and Chilhowie officials, state and local law enforcement and transportation officials and family and friends gathered in Chilhowie to ceremoniously dedicate the Interstate 81 bridge over Whitetop Road as the Trooper Lucas B. Dowell Bridge.
Dowell, was a trooper for four years before he was shot and killed on Feb. 4, 2019, while assisting with a search warrant during a narcotics arrest operation at a residence in Cumberland County.
Virginia state Sen. Charles Carrico and Virginia State Police Association Executive Director M. Wayne Huggins were among the speakers, which also included Dowell's mother, Rebecca.
A native of Chilhowie, Dowell earned a degree in criminal justice from Radford University.
As a trooper, he was first assigned to the Virginia State Police Appomattox Division's Area 18 Office, which encompasses Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson.
He later transferred to Area 20, which is also in the Appomattox Division and encompasses Lynchburg and the counties of Amherst and Campbell. Dowell was also a member of the Appomattox Division Tactical Team, the equivalent of a SWAT team.
On Aug. 2, the town of Amherst dedicated the South Main Street/Route 29 Business bridge over Route 29 as the Trooper Lucas B. Dowell Bridge.