CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Charlotte bridge is now dedicated to Officer Mia Goodwin, the first fallen female officer in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s history.
The Officer Mia Goodwin Bridge was unveiled Friday in University City, where W.T. Harris Blvd. crosses Interstate 85.
Goodwin died in December 2021 while responding to a traffic crash on I-85. She had just returned from maternity leave when she died in the line of duty.
Goodwin was a mom, a police officer, and a hero.
“Her legacy will live on forever,” said CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings at Friday’s ceremony.
She came from a family of first responders.
“She was that sweetheart that when you called 911, you would want Mia to show up,” said retired CMPD Sgt. Darrell Antley, who worked closely with Goodwin.
Goodwin was a dedicated Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer.
“I think here’s somebody who loved this job, realized the dangers of it and still, still loved coming to work every day,” said Jennings.
That day in December 2021 would be her last.
Goodwin was out early one morning responding to a traffic crash on I-85.
Police say a speeding truck driver who didn’t move over plowed into four patrol cars, another semi and Goodwin, killing the officer.
“I’ll never forget the night I got that phone call, and it changed my life forever,” said Jennings.
Goodwin’s sacrifice is never forgotten.
Now it’s on display permanently on the Officer Mia Goodwin Bridge.
“This doesn’t bring my daughter back, our daughter back but we’re very grateful to the entire community, just like I said at the funeral, every time we come to these events it’s heart wrenching, it opens up the scab,” said Antonio Figueroa, Goodwin’s father.
He’s a father facing another Thanksgiving without his daughter, but still gracious.
“Thank you so very much as we approach the holiday seasons that everybody has a blessed and grateful and loving holiday, and you all will be in prayers,” said an emotional Figueroa after Friday’s ceremony.
Goodwin’s three young children will now grow up with a sign of their mother’s sacrifice.
“Dear Gabriela, Grayson and Gia, I pray that in 20 years from now, when you drive out to this bridge, you see not the place where you lost your mother, but that the City of Charlotte and the State of North Carolina, acknowledge and appreciate her service, sacrifice, and legacy,” said Antley during Friday’s ceremony.
Antley also said during the dedication that of the four other police officers injured in that crash, only one was able to return to full law enforcement duties afterwards.
This past January, the truck driver pleaded guilty in the crash and was sentenced to at least a year and four months in prison.