Local News

Jul 22, 2014 2:09 PM by Sara Donchey

Stretch of Highway Dedicated to Fallen Heroes

CORPUS CHRISTI - Law enforcement, city leaders and elected officials gathered at North Padre Island Drive and Highway 44 to dedicate a stretch of highway to some of the citys fallen heroes.

Part of 358 near the Agnes St. exit is now marked "Peace Officers Memorial Highway" in honor of the 11 Corpus Christi peace officers killed in the line of duty.

Today also marked the birthday of CCPD Lieutenant Stuart Alexander, an officer killed in 2009 during a police pursuit on that very stretch of highway.

State Representative Abel Herrero payed tribute to Alexander in a ceremony this morning.

"On this day, a hero was born," Herrero said. "And it was on this stretch of road that god called him up to heaven."

Alexander would have been 53 years old today.

Retired CCPD Commander David Torres was there the night Alexander was killed.

"It was a very horrific scene, and it was a very sad scene because we lost an officer," Torres said. "That affects not only the CCPD officers but all the law enforcement community in the Coastal Bend."

Among those that looked on as the new sign was unveiled was Officer Jose Flores.

Flores was also touched by the death of Lieutenant Alexander; he considered him a mentor.

"We rushed out to the hospital (the night he died)," Flores said. "Memorial (Hospital) was just overflowing with officers there to support each other. You know, we are a family and we all come together regardless of what the situation is."

Now, this length of highway is a permanent memorial--not only to Alexander--but to the 10 other Corpus Christi peace officers who died in the line of the duty.

"Today was just another way for us to pay homage to those families and to those men who i think the world of," said Police Chief Floyd Simpson.

For those like Flores who were personally touched by the loss of a comrade and friend, the marker on the highway is more than just a sign--it's a reminder of those who lived a life of purpose and died serving their communities.

"It's (about) not seeing that negative spot anymore," Flores said. "It's turned it from a negative to a positive for us."

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