It's been more than two decades since a killing spree that took place in multiple parts of Virginia left four dead. A Shenandoah Valley community is now remembering one of its own who died doing his job during the spree.
The Maury River Bridge on Interstate 81 was dedicated to Hines as the Master Trooper Jerry L. Hines Memorial Bridge at a dedication ceremony Monday. Hines was killed in the line of duty during the course of an eight-hour rampage that started in Shenandoah County, continued in Lexington, and ended in Salem.
Virginia State Police Master Trooper Hines didn't get to see his three children graduate high school, or marry their sweethearts. He doesn't know his six grandchildren - including 5-year-old Jerilynn named for her grandfather.
“It's been 25 years since that tragic night in February that we lost Jerry,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty of the Virginia State Police.
Now, Hines is being honored at the Hines Memorial Armory in Lexington.
“Jerry was a man that meant so very much to the Department of State Police, to the National Guard, and to this Rockbridge Community,” said Flaherty.
And also to his family.
“Dad was a man of character and hope. He was a man with pride, valor, and honor. He loved family and fellow man. He was full of wit and humor,” said Jonathan Hines, Jerry’s son.
Jonathan believes now is the best time to remember his dad.
“If this dedication would have happened 25 years ago it would have been a sad day, but today is a good day,” he said.
Senator Creigh Deeds, who cosponsored the legislation along with Delegate Ben Cline, says it's fitting the I-81 bridge be named in Hines' memory.
“He was a rare person who was respected in his community, but also an effective officer,” said Deeds.
“That with this memorial bridge dedication to Jerry that other people also recognize the sacrifice he made,” said John O’Neil, retired Virginia State Police lieutenant.
Dennis Eaton of Mount Jackson was tried for the capital murder of Hines. He was found guilty and executed in 1998.
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