Local leaders, police, sheriff's deputies and Highway Patrol troopers and their families gathered Thursday at the Colonial
Theatre in downtown Canton for the dedication ceremony.
Blanton, 24, was shot and killed June 17, 2008, during a traffic stop. Authorities arrested Florida resident Edwardo Wong
and charged him with Blanton's killing. Wong's trial is set for August. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
The bridge at Exit 31, near where he was killed, was named for him.
Col. Randy Glover, the leader of the state Highway Patrol, said the dedication would serve as a reminder to the public of the
dangers law enforcement officers face every day.
“These men and women get up day in and day out and put their uniforms on and go out to face a world that is becoming
more dangerous,” he said. “(Blanton) lost his life while trying to make the highways of North Carolina safe.”
Jim Trogdon, the chief operating officer for the N.C. Department of Transportation, said the naming was an especially
appropriate way to remember Blanton, who had a sentimental side.
“Shawn always thought it was important to honor the memory of others,” he said. “It seems fitting, then, that we would honor
and remember him.
Friends remembered Blanton on Thursday as a man with an easy smile who loved playing softball so much that he
postponed his honeymoon for a tournament.
He also loved helping others and didn't hesitate to help a cab driver change a flat on the honeymoon he had postponed with
Michaela Blanton, since her husband's death, has talked to each Highway Patrol graduating class.
On Thursday she asked all the troopers to stand.
“It is because of these men and women that our lives are very well-protected,” she said. “Each and every one of you are
heroes standing here today.”
The state has 35 bridges and highways named for law enforcement officers.
Two other bridges are named for troopers who died since 2001 on I-40 in crashes while conducting traffic stops.
Fallen Trooper Blanton honored with Interstate 40 bridge named in his memory
BY JON OSTENDORFF • JUNE 18, 2010
CANTON — The state named a bridge on Interstate 40 in memory of a state Highway Patrol
trooper killed during a traffic stop two years ago.
Trooper Shawn Blanton is the third trooper to have a bridge named for him on I-40 west of