Highway overpass will honor fallen trooper

A truck travels westbound on Interstate 66 along the Shenandoah River bridge in Warren County in a view from the Front Royal Country Club. The bridge is scheduled to be named the Trooper Harry Lee Henderson Memorial Bridge in a ceremony today at the Front Royal Country Club. Rich Cooley//Daily
A truck travels westbound on I-66 along the Shenandoah River bridge in Warren County in a view from the Front Royal Country Club. Rich Cooley//Daily
Former Virginia State Trooper Harry Lee Henderson

A ceremony at Front Royal Country Club this morning will serve as a formal dedication of the Trooper Harry Lee Henderson Memorial Bridge on Interstate 66.

Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, introduced the designation early this year in the Virginia General Assembly. Nelson Longerbeam, who had worked with Henderson, said he contacted Obenshain about the designation after consulting with Wayne Huggins with the Virginia State Police Association.

According to a Virginia State Police news release, Henderson was killed in the line of duty on March 17, 1987, when he was struck by a tractor trailer after stopping a driver on Interstate 66 in Warren County. He was 43 and widowed at the time, survived by his 17-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter.

Henderson had worked with the Virginia State Police for 14 years before his death. He had been an active Boy Scout Scoutmaster for 22 years and Longerbeam said he was active in his Presbyterian church.

In addition to state level action for the dedication, Longerbeam said he had reached out to County Administrator Doug Stanley in the fall last year, and the county Board of Supervisors ended up unanimously passing a resolution for the memorial.

Longerbeam estimated that around three roadways per year are dedicated to officers who’ve fallen in the line of duty, most of them on major highways. He said that bridges closest to where a trooper was killed are usually selected for the dedication – in Henderson’s case, Longerbeam said the incident in 1987 occurred just east of the bridge over Morgan Ford Road.

“This would be the only one in our region up there that will be done,” he said.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com

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