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RALEIGH — N.C. Department of Transportation Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson today joined representatives of the State Highway Patrol and Rutherford County Sherriff’s Office, as well as other local officials, at a dedication ceremony to honor fallen Rutherford County Sherriff’s deputies Capt. Roy Huskey and Sgt. Owen Messersmith.
At the ceremony, the bridge along U.S. 74 over Oakland Road was officially dedicated as the Captain Roy Huskey Bridge, and the bridge along U.S. 74 at Bethany Church Road was named the Sergeant Owen Messersmith Bridge.
“Naming a bridge or road is the highest honor NCDOT can bestow on an individual, and it is our hope that these bridges will serve as a reminder of the sacrifice these men gave in service to the residents of Rutherford County,” Tennyson said. “Just as U.S. 74 binds this region together, we are bound together in our admiration and gratitude for the men and women who offer their lives to guarantee the safety of the public.”
The Rutherford County Board of Commissioners requested the bridge namings, and.the N.C. Board of Transportation approved the request on Jan. 9, 2014. NCDOT typically reserves dedication of its bridges to public servants who have fallen in the line of duty.
Huskey and Messersmith were both shot when responding to a domestic disturbance call on May 31, 1979. N.C. State Trooper Pete Peterson was also killed in this incident. The bridge on U.S. 221 over U.S. 74 in Rutherford County was officially named the Trooper Peterson Bridge on June 27, 2001 at the request of the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners.