The town of Fryeburg plans to rename a local bridge after a police officer who was killed last year in the line of duty.
Police Chief Joshua Potvin said in prepared statement Sunday said that the Canal Bridge, which carries traffic over the Saco River, will be renamed the Officer Nathan Desjardins Memorial Bridge.
A bridge dedication ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. next Sunday, Potvin said. Route 5 will be reduced to one lane of traffic from 1:30 to 1:50 p.m., and will be closed during the dedication ceremony, which will last about 30 minutes.
Desjardins was killed on May 27, 2017 during a Memorial Day weekend water rescue. The 20-year-old reserve officer was on his first day of water training when the motorized jetboat he was riding in with Officer Dale Stout struck a submerged object in the Saco River.
Desjardins, 20, suffered a severe head injury when the jetboat overturned. He died June 6. Stout suffered serious injuries but recovered.
Desjardins and Stout were responding to a report that two canoes had capsized and tossed three people into the river. One of the canoeists – Jennifer Bousquet, 38, of South Berwick – drowned.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from Maine and elsewhere in the nation gathered in Augusta in June 2017 to pay tribute to Desjardins.
Desjardins, who grew up in Albion, graduated with academic honors from Lawrence High School in Fairfield in 2014.
He was working as an EMT and reserve Fryeburg police officer at the time of his death, using the money he earned from those jobs to pay for his college education. He had completed his third year at the University of New England’s School of Nursing.
Immediately after Sunday’s dedication, the public is invited to attend a social gathering at the Fryeburg Fire Department.