A bridge on U.S. 64 in Nash County will be named in honor of a State Highway Patrol trooper who died while trying to stop a man who was fleeing law enforcement officers from Wake County four years ago.
The state Board of Transportation this week approved naming the Red Oak Bridge near Nashville in honor of Bobby Gene DeMuth Jr., who was killed on U.S. 64 near Spring Hope on Sept. 8, 2012.
DeMuth and other state troopers were attempting to deploy stop sticks that would puncture the tires of a Nissan driven by Christopher McCoy Rodgers of Williamston. Raleigh police said Rodgers had robbed and assaulted a woman and her 21-month-old child before leading them on a chase that began near Wendell.
The Nissan struck and killed DeMuth and sped away, before it wrecked on U.S. 64 near Interstate 95, where Rodgers was arrested. He was later convicted of second-degree murder for DeMuth’s death, as well as kidnapping, burglary and robbery in connection with the Raleigh case.
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DeMuth had spent 12 years with the Highway Patrol, based in Rocky Mount. Before that, he had worked for the Wilson and Edgecombe county sheriff’s offices and the Division of Motor Vehicles Enforcement Section. He was a U.S. Marine from 1988 to 1992.
“The dedication of the bridge over Red Oak Road on U.S. 64 in Nash County will remind us all of his ultimate sacrifice and honor his legacy,” Col. Bill Grey, the Highway Patrol’s commander, said in a statement. A sign will be erected at the bridge during a dedication ceremony that has not yet been scheduled.