“As a parent you should never have to tell your child that daddy is never coming home.” These are the words Kellie Smith wrote to KTVU news anchor Frank Somerville.
Smith is a full-time mom to her daughter Summer. But she wasn’t always at home. Smith served in law enforcement for 20 years before deciding to stay home.
It was a decision that came after a heartbreaking tragedy. On January 21, 2014, Smith’s husband, BART Police Sgt. Tommy Smith, was shot and killed in the line of duty.
The Mercury News reported that Sgt. Smith was accidentally shot by a fellow officer while carrying out a search warrant.
It’s been over 4 years since Summer’s father was killed. But Sgt. Smith has not at all been forgotten. Not by his family, and now, not by anyone who passes a certain sign on Interstate 680.
Smith shared with KTVU how this particular Interstate already had one change a few years back, shortly after her husband died.
“It wasn’t long after Tommy died that Summer noticed exit #34 had been added to the Bollinger Canyon Road exit; the exit that leads us home,” Smith said. “It was same badge number that her dad wore.”
Smith explained the sweet story of how Summer was so excited to see her dad’s badge number on their home exit sign.
They’d talked about moving, but when the sign was changed, Summer wouldn’t hear of it. “Mom this is our home and daddy will always be with us,” she told her mom.
Now Interstate 680 holds even more meaning for this family. A new addition to the freeway has been dedicated to Sgt. Smith.
Look at Smith and her daughter as they beam proudly just below a sign that reads “Detective Sergeant Thomas A. Smith Jr. Memorial Highway.”
What an amazing and touching tribute! “We hope it brings smiles to others and a fond memory of Tommy when they drive by,” Smith shared.
Frank Somerville of KTVU feels the same. “I can’t wait to drive by the sign and picture both Kellie and Summer smiling,” he wrote in his Facebook post.
If I’m ever driving in the area, I’ll be sure to watch out for that sign, too. May officers like Sgt. Smith always be remembered for their brave and selfless service to others.
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