North Carolina County Wants to Rename Bridge After Fallen Deputy

July 10, 2024
Deputy Ned Byrd was fatally shot on Aug. 11, 2022, after he stopped to check out a suspicious pickup truck on Battle Bridge Road.

WAKE COUNTY, North Carolina -- Wake County leaders are seeking a new way to honor a local deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Deputy Ned Byrd was fatally shot on Aug. 11, 2022, after he stopped to check out a suspicious pickup truck on Battle Bridge Road.

Now, Wake County Sheriff Willie Rowe and the Wake County Board of Commissioners want the state to name a bridge near the site of the shooting in Byrd’s memory.

Two brothers have been charged with murder in his death, and two of their siblings also face charges tied to the killing.

A trial date will not be set until one of the brothers, who had escaped from jail after the shooting, is extradited from Mexico, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said.

‘A lasting tribute’

On Monday, Wake County commissioners unanimously agreed to ask the N.C. Department of Transportation to rename the Auburn Knightdale Road Bridge over the Neuse River the “Ned P. Byrd Bridge.”

“This bridge will stand not only as a physical structure but as a lasting tribute to Deputy Byrd’s service and a reminder of his sacrifices and contributions to our community,” Rowe said in a statement.

Byrd, 48, was a New York native and Air Force veteran who began working at the Wake County Sheriff’s Office in 2009 as a detention officer.

“Deputy Ned P. Byrd has established a legacy of service through work in the community as a canine handler, Brazilian Jui Jitsu, cross-fit, and as a local peace officer,” according to the resolution approved by Wake County.

The Sheriff’s Office will now submit the request and required application to the NCDOT staff. There is no timeline for when the application could be approved, said Aaron Moody, assistant director of communications for NCDOT.

Other bridge designations

If this is approved by NCDOT, this bridge would be the sixth such designation in Wake County.

The others are:

  • Marshall Watson Bennett Bridge, Old Milburnie Road over I-540, designated May 31, 2006.
  • Trooper Robert R. East Bridge, US 1 North at the Neuse River, designated Dec. 5, 2007.
  • F. Donald Rohrbaugh Bridge, Timber Drive Extension over Mahlers Creek, designated Nov. 30, 2011.
  • Officer Ryan A. Hayworth Bridge, Knightdale Boulevard over I-540, designated May 3, 2023.
  • Dr. William Weston Hedrick Bridge, U.S. 401 and the Neuse River, designation under consideration by NCDOT in 2024.

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