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Two Virginia State troopers killed in the line of duty more than 40 years ago were honored Wednesday with a dedication ceremony of two bridges in York County.
The Hampton Highway bridge that crosses Route 17 in Tabb was renamed the Trooper Donald E. Lovelace Memorial Bridge, while the Barlow Road overpass that crosses Interstate 64 in Upper York County was renamed the Trooper Garland Matthew Miller Memorial Bridge.
Lovelace was working the midnight shift on Oct. 18, 1970 when he was struck and killed by a passing vehicle during a traffic stop. Miller died in a traffic crash on June 13, 1963 when his patrol car ran off the road and struck several nearby trees.
Both officers were working in York County at the time of their deaths.
On Wednesday, family and friends of the fallen officers, as well as York County officials and state legislators, attended the dedication ceremony and honored the memory of Lovelace and Miller.
During the dedication ceremony, two large signs costing roughly $2,000 each were erected at both bridges. One sign bears the name of Lovelace, while the other has Miller’s name inscribed. The signs were placed at each officer’s respective bridge.
The push to honor the two officers was led by retired Virginia Superintendent of State Police William Corvello, who worked with both officers during his time in the police force.
Corvello’s presented his idea to legislators during the 2015 Virginia General Assembly. His efforts were consummated when Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the name changes of the bridges into law in February.
“As a Department, we never will forget their sacrifice whether their death occurred last year or eighty-five years ago,” current Virginia Sate Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty told WYDaily in March. “So to have these memorials dedicated to honor Trooper Miller and Trooper Lovelace ensures the citizens and the Commonwealth won’t forget them either, that their lives are memorialized for future generations who travel the bridges, and hopefully brings some small measure of comfort to the family members who’ve had to endure their lives without them.”