State News

State troopers killed on duty to be honored

Posted May 4, 2009 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2009 7:29 a.m. EDT

— The state Highway Patrol will hold a memorial ceremony Monday afternoon to honor the 60 troopers who have died in the force's 80-year history, including two killed in 2008.

Gov. Bev Perdue will speak at the memorial ceremony at the Highway Patrol academy in Raleigh. Perdue also will participate in a wreath-laying at the memorial.

On June 17, 2008, Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr., 24, was shot after he stopped a vehicle in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 in Canton, outside Asheville. Edwardo Wong II, 37, of Ormond Beach, Fla., was charged with first-degree murder.

Blanton left behind a wife, Michaela, and a 2-week-old son, Tye, who was born prematurely. Tye died about four months later of heart problems and other medical issues. The infant was buried next to his father.

On Sept. 9, 2008, Trooper Andrew Stocks, 43, died in a wreck with a garbage truck on on Ten-Ten Road in Garner. Investigators said that Stocks lost control of his cruiser while responding to another wreck on U.S. Highway 401.

Stocks, a Cary High School graduate, left behind a wife, Liane, and a stepdaughter, who friends say he referred to as his daughter. The Marine and Army reservist was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The patrol was founded in 1929 with a handful of troopers. It has grown to employ 1,813 troopers who patrol 78,000 miles of North Carolina roadway.

Troopers arrested more than 23,000 people last year for driving while impaired, seized $10 million worth of drugs and investigated 1,081 fatal accidents.