The Pole Green Road bridge over I-295 has been named after the late Hanover firefighter Lieutenant Brad T. Clark, who was killed last October when struck by a tractor trailer while responding to a traffic accident near that spot.
The bridge is now named the Lieutenant Bradford T. Clark, Hanover Fire-EMS Memorial Bridge.
Lt. Clark’s tragic death resulted in the General Assembly strengthening Virginia’s Move Over Law, which requires drivers to move over as they approach stationary vehicles with flashing emergency lights. A first offense will now be a Class I misdemeanor rather than a traffic infraction. Governor Northam signed the bill into law during a ceremony in the historic Hanover Courthouse on May 2.
The truck that killed Lt. Clark did not move over and struck the fire truck that had carried Lt. Clark and other Hanover Fire/EMS personnel to the scene of the accident. Lt. Clark died at the scene and other firefighters were seriously injured. In his last moments, Lt. Clark warned his fellow firefighters of the impending crash, giving them just enough warning to save their lives.
In February, Lt. Clark was honored with the 2019 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award, named after a New York City firefighter who died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His widow, Melanie Clark, received the award on behalf of Lt. Clark in April.
Also in February, Governor Northam recognized Lt. Clark as Virginia Career Firefighter of the Year for 2018.
“Many will forever be grateful for his leadership and valor to the very end,” said the governor. “However, Lieutenant Clark was a hero long before that rainy night in October and was a remarkable firefighter who is deeply missed.”
The renaming of the bridge was requested by the Board of Supervisors and approved by the General Assembly and the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
Speaking at a ceremony on May 10 at nearby Shady Grove United Methodist Church were Rob Cary, Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Transportation; Canova Peterson, Chairman of the Hanover Board of Supervisors; Hanover Fire/EMS Chief Jethro Piland; Bob Clark, father of Lt. Clark; and Melanie Clark, his widow.