Family, Friends Unveil Signs for Trooper Randy Vetter Memorial Highway in Hays County
Family members, state and local officials, co-workers and friends of DPS Trooper
Randall Wade Vetter admire the signs designating 5.8 miles of I-35 in Hays County
as Trooper Randy Vetter Memorial Highway.
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Before an overflow Commissioners Courtroom today, family, friends and proponents of law enforcement joined local and state agencies in remembering Trooper Randall Wade Vetter, who was killed in the line of duty in August 2000 in Hays County during a traffic stop near Yarrington Road and I-35. Two signs marking the 5.8-mile Trooper Randy Wade Vetter Memorial Highway were unveiled at the Courthouse prior to being installed along I-35 by the Texas Department of Transportation, which
designed and produced the signs. The Memorial Highway runs from River Ridge Parkway on the north side of San Marcos to RM 150 in Kyle.
Cynthia Vetter, Trooper Vetter’s widow, told those gathered how much she appreciated everyone’s support, especially her extended DPS family “who will always remain a part of our life.” She analogized the highway signs to the messages of resilience worn by Boston Marathon runners at a photo taken for the one-year anniversary of the explosions that “symbolically replace their terror of that day with a portrait of strength – we are doing something very similar here today. This day is not just about highway signs, it is about taking the images of horror, devastation and loss of Randy’s death and replacing them with something positive.” Joining her was their son, Robert, and Trooper Vetter’s father, Kermit Vetter, who also thanked those involved and singled out Rep. Doug Miller, who sponsored legislation during the 2013 Legislative Session to name the stretch of I-35 in his son’s memory.
“It is so important that we recognize law enforcement and first responders for their heroism,” Rep. Miller said. “We don’t know the totality of risk that these people are exposed to from day to day until the ultimate sacrifice is made. “As a former peace officer and longtime Vetter family friend, this touches me personally.”
Speaking for the Court, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., said, “”We are pleased that we can remember Trooper Vetter by naming a highway for him and installing these signs so that all can remember him for his service. Hays County appreciates him and he will not be forgotten.” Judge Cobb suggested to the audience that “the next time you are pulled over for an infraction, thank the officer who stopped you for protecting you and putting his or her own life in danger. “
DPS Director Steve McCraw addressed the audience, thanking those involved for the “fitting tribute” to a trooper who served with “great distinction and when faced with a no-win scenario he chose compassion over his own safety. He’ll forever be a hero.” More than 50 DPS troopers were in the audience, many of whom knew and worked with Trooper Vetter.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, whose precinct includes Yarrington Road, said she especially appreciated the community coming together to make the highway designation and the signs a reality, noting that the State Legislature, Hays County, DPS and TxDOT all worked together for such a worthy cause.
Contributions for the signs, which are not funded by legislation, came from Hays County, the Texas State Troopers Association, Yarrington Road Materials, Comal County Precinct 4 Constable Shane Rapp, Canyon Lake Rotary Club, Canyon Lake Noon Lions Club, and Canyon Lake residents Wade and Christina Powell. Trooper Vetter was a graduate of Canyon Lake High School and had been stationed in Comal County
just prior to his assignment in Hays County. Judge Cobb also singled out TxDOT District Engineer Greg Malatek, P.E., and his staff for their work on the tribute.
The proceedings inside the courtroom are archived on the County’s website, www.co.hays.tx.us.
For information about the Memorial Highway Signs: Kelli Reyna, TxDOT, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-832-7060 (office) or 512-658-1487 (mobile). For information about the program: Laureen Chernow, Hays County, email@example.com, 512-393-2296 (office) or 512-461-5093 (mobile).