A portion of Interstate 90 in Lakewood will be dedicated in honor of Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez, a Lorain resident killed in the line of duty in September.
Gov. John Kasich announced the dedication on social media Friday afternoon, giving credit to state Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, for his leadership on the bill.
In a phone call Saturday, Ramos said Velez was his cousin but that he believed the honor was owed regardless.
“When someone dies in the line of duty, especially an officer of the state, we try to do it if the family wants it,” Ramos said.
The dedication was included in Senate Bill 207, which was passed recently. Ramos said a more formal ceremony will be planned.
Velez was struck and killed by a car on I-90 on Sept. 15 during a traffic stop. Joshua Gaspar, 37, of Columbia Station, has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in his death.
“I wish it didn’t have to happen is how I feel. But since it did happen, I’m happy we’re able to honor him,” Ramos said. “Legislators do this for constituents who die in the line (of duty), either in law enforcement or overseas at wars, but being a family member, of course it’s a little closer to home.”
Contact Jodi Weinberger at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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