ASBURY, Ala. -- The Marshall County Commission named the new bridge near the Asbury community, but a local family with strong memories tied to the area isn't happy with it.
They had hoped the bridge would be named in honor of their sister and daughter who lost her life there. Commissioners did something else to honor her and two other members of the community instead.
"I remember us getting a call to assist Alder Springs on a house fire. I remember leaving the station and the next thing I remember was a few weeks later, waking up in the hospital and being told that my sister had passed away in the wreck," Chris Nixon said.
Nixon, who in 2006 was a volunteer firefighter with the Asbury Volunteer Fire Department along with his younger sister Alethea, didn't remember much. Others had to fill in the blanks.
"They told me that we had went off of the bridge," he says.
He was badly hurt. His sister was gone. The fire truck was traveling over two one lane bridges that span a rocky decline near the Asbury community when the accident happened.
In Marshall County's largest county project to date, crews are working on a new bridge to replace the two old bridges. This week the Marshall County Commission named it.
"We decided to name this bridge Redmill Bridge, because the other bridge has been here so many years, and now this should be the same thing," explains Commissioner Jesse Swords.
Swords says the community has known that area as such for decades. Several people lost their lives on the old bridges, so that was another reason Swords says he picked the name Redmill Bridge.
He says there's discussion of putting a plaque on the bridge to remember those lives lost.
The Nixon family - and they say the community too - hoped the bridge could be named after Alethea. "It just kind of made us feel like the community's vote didn't matter at all," Nixon said.
Commissioners did something else to honor her instead. Swords says the stretches of road on either side of the new bridge are going to be named after three members of the community who lost their lives. One side will be named in honor of Denie and Pamela Tucker, who were murdered in their home near the new bridge last year.
The other stretch of road will be named after Alethea Nixon. "Nixon Drive. I wanted to name something after her," Swords says.
It's not what the Nixons hoped for, but the gesture will still honor her memory. "I'm proud of that, " Nixon says, "At least her memory is still here. To me, her memory is always here."