by: Dave Faherty Updated:
BOONE, N.C. - A heavily traveled bridge in Boone was dedicated Tuesday to an officer shot and killed in the line of duty.
It has been 20 months since someone killed Watauga County Sheriff Deputy William Mast Jr., who was responding to a 911 call.
Law enforcement from across Watauga County came for the bridge dedication. The bridge on Highway 421 that crosses the New River will bear the name William Mast Jr. The sheriff along with Mast’s widow, Paige, unveiled the sign this morning.
"Our greatest fear is this he will be forgotten and I pray that everyone that crosses this bridge and sees his name takes the time to remember the sacrifice he made to protest his community and to thank God for all law enforcement,” Paige Mast said.
In July of 2012, William Mast was responding to a 911 call at a home near Deep Gap when police say Mitchell Trivette shot and killed him. Another deputy returned fire, killing Trivette.
The shooting devastated much of the High Country. It happened just weeks before Paige Mast gave birth to their son, Hunter.
Watauga County commissioners asked the state to name the bridge after William Mast soon after.
The signs are already up along Highway 421 east of Boone. The sheriff said 19,000 vehicles cross this bridge every single day.
"Hopefully when they see the sign it will just put a little internal inflection of the sacrifice that William made. Hopefully that will inspire them to think about law enforcement and the things that as do to try to protect the community,” said Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman.