Official to propose renaming Watauga County bridge in honor of fallen deputy
Sgt. Chris Ward was one of two deputies killed in a mass shooting in April 2021.
WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - During a hearing next month, a major with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office will present a resolution asking the Board of Commissioners to rename an area bridge in honor of a deputy who was killed in the line of duty.
Scheduled for Jan. 17, 2023, the public hearing would propose renaming the Watauga River Bridge on Highway 321 in memory of Sgt. Christopher David Ward, who was one of two deputies shot and killed as a result of an hours-long standoff in April 2021.
During the hearing, the Board would need to adopt the resolution as it is presented, or an amended version, in order for the proposal to advance to the next stage.
If the resolution is adopted, the following steps would then occur as part of the renaming process:
- After adopting, the Board would need to submit background information on the nominee, description of what is requested to be named, and demonstrate public input and support to NCDOT staff.
- NCDOT staff would review the information to ensure the application meets policy and confirm that there is not any local opposition. After review the NCDOT staff will forward to the Transportation Road, Bridge, and Ferry Naming Committee for action.
- The Board member representing the area where the requested bridge is located must endorse the request.
- If approved, the Transportation Road, Bridge, and Ferry Naming Committee will forward a resolution for the Board of Transportation’s approval.
- The Board of Transportation will approve or deny the request.
Final approval for the renaming would also require a $2,000 fee for road signs and installation.
Ward began his law-enforcement career at the Beech Mountain Police Department in 2013, and joined the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department in 2018.
He was killed after authorities were called to a home east of Boone for a welfare check. Once at the home, a barricaded subject who had already killed two others by the time of their arrival, engaged in a standoff with law enforcement.
Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox died as a result of injuries sustained during the standoff.
The sheriff’s office has remained in contact with Fox’s family as they consider naming options in his honor.
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