On a chilly December 6, 2013, Governor Jay Inslee, State Senator Kevin Ranker, Representative Kristine Lytton, Representative Jeff Morris, and Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste joined friends and family members at a ceremony to rename the new Skagit River Bridge in honor of fallen Trooper Sean M. O’Connell, Jr.
“Sean was a great husband, father, brother and son” said Chief John Batiste. “For us he was just Sean, our brother Trooper.”
Family members and friends, including Trooper O’Connell’s old detachment, signed the back of the signs before they were put in place by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
“Having this bridge renamed in Sean’s honor will let all who travel this road know of the sacrifice Sean made while serving the citizens of Washington.”
In May of 2013, Trooper O’Connell was killed while conducting traffic control at a site near the bridge collapse when his motorcycle collided with another vehicle.
This is the first time in state history where a bridge has been named in honor of a fallen Washington State Trooper.
A brief, private ceremony for Trooper O’Connell’s family and his WSP detachment was held at a posted sign on the northbound side of the bridge after the dedication ceremony.