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SALT LAKE CITY — A stretch of highway in western Utah County would bear the name of a sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty earlier this year under a proposal in the Legislature.
State Route 73 from Saratoga Springs to the Tooele County line would be named the Cory B. Wride Memorial Highway if SB234 passes as expected next week. The House Transportation Committee unanimously endorsed the bill Friday. The Senate approved it earlier this week.
"When people drive on this road, they will be reminded that there really is a thin blue line between good and evil," said Rep. John Knotwell, R-Herriman.
Wride, a Utah County sheriff's sergeant, was shot and killed on Jan. 31 while helping who he thought were stranded motorists. He was shot twice without warning while sitting in his patrol car.
"When Sgt. Wride was ambushed, it was just the worst kind of crime," said bill sponsor Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs. He said he also intends to look into equipping police cars with bulletproof windows.
Madsen said the community had high regard for Wride and that naming the road in his honor would be a lasting legacy.
"What a beautiful memorial tribute to this fine man and his family," said Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City.
Cory was a man of integrity. Cory was my friend... I think this is a fitting tribute to honor Sgt. Cory Wride.
–Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy
Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy said Wride worked for the sheriff's office for nearly 20 years, including three years as his administrative sergeant before transferring to Eagle Mountain.
"Cory was a man of integrity. Cory was my friend," Tracy told the committee, adding that the office is slowing getting its arms around the tragedy. "I think this is a fitting tribute to honor Sgt. Cory Wride."
Former Eagle Mountain Mayor Heather Jackson said Wride's death was a huge loss for the city.
"He meant a tremendous amount to our community. He wouldn't have been there that day except that he asked to come back and serve in Eagle Mountain," she said.
Madsen said some people in the area have questioned naming the highway after Wride because of plans to reconfigure the road. There would be no immediate cost to the state for signs, and they would be made as the Utah Department of Transportation works on the road, he said.