Two fallen Iowa State Patrol troopers have been honored in a special way.
The Iowa State Patrol has dedicated two bridges to Sgt. Jim Smith of Independence and Trooper Ted Benda of rural Decorah, who both died in the line of duty in 2021. Sgt. Smith was fatally shot during a standoff in Grundy Center, while Trooper Benda died in a crash in Clayton County while responding to a call.
Ceremonies dedicating the two bridges were held on Monday. The Highway 20 bridge over the Wapsipinicon River near the 255 mile marker east of Independence has been dedicated to Sgt. Smith. The Highway 51 bridge over Yellow River in Allamakee County has been dedicated to Trooper Benda.
The Iowa State Patrol says it has been a long standing tradition to name a bridge after a Trooper who has paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting Iowans.
photos courtesy of Iowa State Patrol & Clayton County Sheriff’s Office