Road to be dedicated in fallen deputy’s memory
by Robert Joseph Baker | April 17, 2017 3:08 pm
A road traversed by Clarendon County law enforcement officers every day will soon be dedicated to the memory of their own.
Capital Way, which sits between the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Mental Health, will be dedicated to the memory of the late Inv. Holmes N. Smith Jr..
Smith died Nov. 5, 2014, while on the way back from official Sheriff’s Office business in Sumter County. According to reports, he suffered a cardiac event and ran off the road on U.S. 521 near Alcolu.
His widow, Tonia Mallett-Smith, said the process of dedicating the road began with deputy Scott Danback, who initiated the honor with Sen. Kevin Johnson while still working at the Manning Police Department.
“Sen. Johnson took it to the Legislature in January, and they approved it,” said Mallett-Smith. “They’re not going to change the name of the road, but they will rededicate it in Holmes’ name and add his.”
Mallett-Smith said she and Holmes’ children and family are pleased with the re-dedication, which will take place officially at noon May 6 at the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office.
“I think it’s a great honor,” said Mallett-Smith. “That road is especially fitting because it does lead right to the Sheriff’s Office, a place he cared a lot about. His memory will still be tied there to the sheriff’s office.”
Sheriff Tim Baxley said the honor is “well-deserved.”
“He was a good guy, and it’s a good legacy to leave behind,” he said. “This doesn’t replace the person, but it does give you a good memory of the person. And if there were a road to be renamed after Holmes, this was the appropriate one to be named.”
More than two years after her husband’s death, Mallett-Smith said she and her family are still coping with the loss.
“We are still a tight family,” she said of her relationship with her in-laws and Holmes’ siblings. “When I say we’re doing good, I mean we’re moving forward. We recognize that he’s no longer with us. It’s a void that can never be filled. But we’re coping with it very well.”
Mallett-Smith said she’s especially proud of the couple’s five children.
“I am very proud of how strong they all are,” she said.