Fallen police officer honored at ceremony

A county police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1997 was honored Friday morning during a ceremony at the Memorial Gardens of the St. Louis County Police Headquarters in Clayton.

A sign designating a section of Interstate 55 in south county as the Officer Thomas G. Smith Jr. Memorial Highway was unveiled during the ceremony, which was attended by Sen. Harry Kennedy, Rep. Jeff Roorda, County Executive Charlie Dooley, Police Chief Jerry Lee and Officer Smith’s parents, Frances and Sgt. Thomas Smith.

Officer Smith was killed Dec. 5, 1997, while assisting another officer with an automobile accident on I-55.

Officer Smith was standing on the shoulder of the highway with one of the drivers in the accident when both he and the other driver were struck and killed by an approaching van.

Legislation to enact the special highway designation was sponsored in the Senate by Kennedy and in the House by Roorda.