Skip to main content

Bills honor 2 fallen Minnesota heroes with memorial highways

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Two Minnesota highways would soon be named after two of the state's fallen heroes.

The House unanimously passed two separate bills that will honor Nicholas Spehar, a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan, and North St. Paul police officer Richard Crittenden, who died while responding to a domestic dispute call, KARE 11 reports.

Under the bill, Highway 8 from Forest Lake through Chisago City – Spehar's hometown – will be renamed “Nicholas Patrick Spehar Memorial Highway,” the Session Daily says. Spehar was a highly-decorated Navy SEAL, killed after his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan in August of 2011, KARE reports. He was on his third deployment, and one of 17 SEALs killed in the attack.

“This young man's service touched our community,” said Rep. Bob Barrett, R-Lindstrom, of Spehar. Barrett is the sponsor of the House bill. The Senate has not yet had a full vote on the measure.

At the time, the Star Tribune said the attack – which killed 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan commandos, and an interpreter – was the deadliest single-day loss for U.S. forces since the war in Afghanistan began. The CH-47 Chinook helicopter they were in was shot down in the country's Tangi Valley by what appeared to be a rocket-propelled grenade launched by Taliban forces.

Spehar was described to the paper as a "quiet leader." He was 24 at the time of his death.

Highway 36 within the borders of North St. Paul would become “Officer Richard Crittenden Memorial Highway” under another bill passed by the House. It's the same stretch of road he often patrolled while on duty, the Session Daily notes.

According to his Officer Down memorial page, Crittenden was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance call on a September morning in 2009 – and the first North St. Paul officer killed in the line of duty. A suspect attempted to attack a female on the scene, and Crittenden was one of two officers to step in. The suspect gained control of Crittenden's firearm and fatally shot the officer.

An official with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension told MPR it was a "very intense, and very violent battle."

The department unveiled a memorial for Crittenden a year after his death.

Crittenden had served with the North St. Paul police department for nine years, and the Wabasha County Sheriff's Department before that. He also served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He died at the age of 57.

The bill to honor Crittenden was previously passed by the Senate, then amended and passed by the House – so the Senate will need to re-vote.

[preserve]

[/preserve]

Next Up

monkeypox

Minnesota confirms second case of monkeypox virus

More cases are expected in the coming days and weeks, the health department says.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, June 29

One of the newly reported deaths was a person aged 15-19 from Yellow Medicine County.

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 10.19.37 AM

Drone drops bag of candy near kids fishing

A black SUV quickly left the area afterwards.

FLickr - AL Franken 2016 - Lorie Shaull

Al Franken to bring comedy tour to Minneapolis

Acme Comedy is hosting the former senator in late August.

Alabama

Alabama replaces Toby Keith as headliner at MN music festival

The Lakefront Music Festival is set to take place in Prior Lake on July 8-9.

16362 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, Minnesota - October 2021 (4)

2-year-old who died in Maple Grove crash identified

The crash happened last Thursday on County Road 81 in Maple Grove.

Image from iOS

Shooting inside Oakdale movie theater: Suspect on the run

A 23-year-old was shot while inside theater 17 around 10 p.m.

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

Walz, Jensen clash over 'extreme' abortion views

The two clashed over the topic on Tuesday, following the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 12.24.27 PM

Movie filming brings memorable day for MN teen with leukemia

Ayotzin Limon-Millard was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 1.25.30 PM

Police trying to ID 'Playboy bandit' and 'no-pants raider' suspect

Police are calling the unidentified man "the Playboy bandit" and the "no-pants raider."

storm, severe, shelf cloud

Twin Cities under severe thunderstorm watch Tuesday afternoon

Large hail and damaging winds are the main threats.

Related