TUPELO – For Lisa Hood, the stretch of state Highway 370 in Baldwyn where her husband died nearly two years ago was already Steve Hood Memorial Highway. Now, the rest of the public will know it that way, too.
Earlier this year, Highway 370 near Brice’s Crossroads was renamed in honor of the 28-year Mississippi Highway Patrol veteran who was killed while pursuing a speeder on May 29, 2010.
Lisa and their children, Stephanie and Stacie, 22, and Matthew, 24, along with troopers, state representatives and other law enforcers joined to unveil the new road marker with Hood’s name on Friday.
Lisa, who passes the site each day to and from work, said she hopes the marker serves as a reminder of what being a Mississippi highway patrolman meant to her husband.
“It’s an honor to have Steve remembered and honored in this way by the state and his peers,” she said. “He loved his job. We want people to look at that marker and understand the sacrifice he made.”
Hood died just two miles from his home after a high-speed chase that topped more than 100 mph.
Capt. Mickey Baker, who worked with Hood for many years, was grateful for the dedication Friday.
“This stretch of highway being named after Steve means a lot to his family and the troopers,” Baker said. “He died while performing his duty as a trooper and this won’t bring him back, but it demonstrates the support we have from our legislators, troopers, citizens and fellow law enforcement family. We could not do what we do if it wasn’t for them.”
For fellow Troop F member Trooper Ray Hall, the renamed highway is more than just a location on a map.
“This highway is a memorial for Trooper Hood,” said Hall. “As we troopers drive down Highway 370 it should be a reminder of the true servant Steve Hood was. He was willing to lay his life down for his fellow man. We should always follow his footsteps. Mississippi 370 is where Steve crossed into a new land to a new life and that’s how we all should look at it.”
Mississippi state Reps. Donnie Bell and Jerry Turner attended the dedication. Both men said they were happy to see the highway renamed.
“When we can mark an effort to remember and memorialize one of our troopers who made the ultimate sacrifice, it is truly an honor,” said Turner.
Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal