Florida highway named after officer killed on site 4 years ago

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:14 PM EDT
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TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) - A a single car crash, engulfed in flames, killed Officer Joshua Montaad with the Florida Department of Agriculture four years ago.

Friday, two days away from the anniversary of his death, the road where he lost his life was named in his honor.

Montaad’s colleagues said there is not a day that goes by that they don’t miss their fellow brother in uniform. This highway dedication continues to celebrate his life and forever remember his legacy.

At just 25-years-old, on the path to becoming an investigator, Montaad’s life was cut short.

“Josh’s light shone bright when he was here, and we continue to miss him everyday,” said Colonel James Wiggins with FDAC. “We as an agency, are a little less because he is gone.”

Montaad’s parents shared an embrace as they saw their son’s name become a permanent fixture for all to see.

“It’s a great blessing for our family,” Montaad’s mother, Leila Montaad, said.

The highway designation, steps away from a site, is another reminder of the young man who had so much ahead of him.

dan hartley, senior district aide to state representative chuck brannan

“When travelers pass by this marker, they are reminded of the bravery and professionalism of Officer Montaad, and that in those moments, when travelers read this marker, they pause for a moment just to remember this brave officer. And through this, may his memory live on,” said Senior District Aide to state representative Chyck Brannan Dan Hartley.

“No one is going to forget his memory, no one is going to forget the service that he has done for the department, and the people he impacted each and every day,” said AG Commissioner Nikki Fried.

For Montaad’s loved ones, this sign, the support and recognition is a blessing.

“We have never envisioned or imagined having this post in the name of our son,” added Leila. “We are very proud.”

The family wants his legacy of professionalism and success to continue serving as an example.

“We are just hoping that his name on this highway that it will also bless them,” explained Leila. “And it will touch their lives and they will wonder, ‘who is this person?’ And they will get to know him even if he is not here anymore.”

The Department of Agriculture has also created an award in Montaad’s name that has already been awarded to fellow officers since his passing.

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