More than 20 years after a Johnston County deputy lost his life in the line of duty a memorial for the fallen officer will finally be dedicated.
The US 70 Business Bridge over the Neuse River in Downtown Smithfield will be formally dedicated as the Deputy C. Paul West Sr. Bridge during a ceremony scheduled for Friday, June 24th at 11:00am. The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, including current Sheriff Steve Bizzell and former Sheriff Freddy Narron, will participate in the ceremony along with members of the West family, Johnston County commissioners, and the NC Department of Transportation.
Traffic will be detoured around the bridge from 10:00am until Noon on June 24th.
At their January meeting, the N.C. Board of Transportation approved the naming of the bridge. West’s sister, Angie attended the board meeting along with former Board of Transportation Member Durwood Stephenson of Smithfield.
West was a graduate of Smithfield-Selma High School, joined the United States Marine Corps and after an honorable discharge returned to Johnston County where he later became a deputy with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to his work, West spent countless hours working in his community to support the youth through coaching and volunteering.
On September 11, 1995, West was fatally wounded in the line of duty. He left behind a wife and two sons. The Johnston County Board of Commissioners and the Smithfield Town Council requested the bridge be named in honor of West.
It will be 7,592 days from the date Deputy West was killed to the date the bridge will be formally dedicated in his memory.