LCSO, Loved Ones Dedicate 'Deputy Christopher Smith Memorial Highway'

Sep 25, 2018

From left: Senator Bill Montford, Erika Smith, Gabrielle Smith, and Hunter Pittman unveil the plaque marking the start of the Deputy Christopher Smith Memorial Highway.
Credit Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Fifteen miles of Highway 90 have been renamed for a local hero. The dedication ceremony saw the late Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Smith’s family, friends and law enforcement peers celebrate his life.

Smith was killed in an ambush attack while responding to a house fire four years ago. He died trying to protect others. Smith’s loved ones remember him as a kind-hearted, larger-than-life personality who was equal parts jokester and protector. His widow, Erika Smith, had a special vision for which road should bear his name.

“When I was asked what road I wanted to dedicate in his honor, I knew I wanted U.S. 90. This road covers both Jefferson and Leon County, and always leads me home,” Smith said. “This road symbolizes his career. He left one county for another, yet eternally bonded to them both.”

Erika Smith, widow of the late Deputy Chris Smith, speaks at a ceremony dedicating 15 miles of U.S. Highway 90 in his name.
Credit Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Chris Smith spent 20 years of his career with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office before moving over to LCSO. Both agencies, including others, were in attendance.

State Senator Bill Montford also made remarks at Tuesday’s ceremony. Montford was essential in getting the Legislature to greenlight the renaming.

“A great thank you from all of this community, for a life that was dedicated to protect others,” Montford said.

In closing the ceremony, Sheriff Walt McNeil led a toast with Smith’s favorite beverage.

“Chris loved himself a Doctor Pepper, and I’m told that every shift he started it with a Doctor Pepper,” McNeil said.  

Leon County Sheriff's Office deputies raise bottles of Dr. Pepper, Deputy Chris Smith's favorite beverage, in a toast to their late friend and colleague.
Credit Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

The stretch of road now named after Smith runs from Chaires Cross Road in Leon to State Road 59 in Jefferson County.