Portion of Interstate 75 being renamed in honor of Florida Highway Patrol lieutenant killed in line of duty in 1989

Lieutenant Benedict J. Thomas

A portion of Interstate 75 between Fowler Avenue and Fletcher Avenue in Hillsborough County is being renamed this week in remembrance of fallen Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Benedict J. Thomas.

Lieutenant Benedict J. Thomas was a member of the Florida Highway Patrol who served the citizens of Florida for 11 years. On June 9, 1989, a passing car struck and killed Lieutenant Thomas while walking back to his patrol vehicle after investigating an abandoned vehicle on Interstate 75 in Tampa. He attended the 55th recruit class in Tallahassee, from May 1 to July 28, 1978. Lieutenant Benedict’s duty stations while serving on the Florida Highway Patrol were in Tallahassee and Tampa. He was 32 years old at the time of his death.

“Paying tribute to Lieutenant Thomas by renaming a portion of Interstate 75 in his honor is a great tribute,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Lieutenant Thomas was dedicated to serving the residents and visitors of this state as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, and the ultimate sacrifice he paid is well deserving of this recognition.”