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Portion of U.S. Highway 27 to be named Sam Strahan Memorial Highway

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 15, 2017, 9:23 p.m.

Ami Strahan holds up a picture of her son Sam as she talks about him during a meeting at Spokane Valley City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. At the meeting, the Washington State Transportation Commission voted to name a portion of U.S. Highway 27 after Sam Strahan. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Ami Strahan holds up a picture of her son Sam as she talks about him during a meeting at Spokane Valley City Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. At the meeting, the Washington State Transportation Commission voted to name a portion of U.S. Highway 27 after Sam Strahan. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Ami Strahan’s voice softened with emotion as she told the Washington State Transportation Commission of her son’s heroism.

Three months after her husband, Scott Strahan, died unexpectedly in their front yard, the couple’s 15-year-old child, Sam Strahan, was shot and killed on Sept. 13 while attempting to stymie a shooter in a second-floor hallway at Freeman High School.

She doesn’t want her son to be forgotten, and neither do the 7,500 people who signed a petition to name a portion of U.S. Highway 27 after Sam.

“If people drive near the road near Freeman and a sign has his name, they might look it up and find out what happened that day,” Ami Strahan told the commission Wednesday during a commission meeting at Spokane Valley City Hall. “He walked straight up to that boy, said what he could to try to stop him, and lost his life.

“I had a boy who came up to me at Freeman High School and said if it wasn’t for Sam, he wouldn’t be alive,” she said

The commission voted unanimously to name a stretch of the highway from mile marker 68.9 to mile marker 82 as the Sam Strahan Memorial Highway. A time frame for the project wasn’t announced, but the family said it hopes it begins before the new year.

Ami said Scott, a former firefighter who died when he was crushed beneath a motor home he was working on, would be proud to see his son’s name along the highway.

Sam would be thrilled, she said.

“It would mean the world to him.” Ami said. “It’s huge. He would think he’s a rock star.”

Brad Miller, of Spokane radio station KISS 98.1, helped spearhead the petition and spoke to the commission on Wednesday.

Miller said the petition began when people in the Freeman community talked about whom they were most proud of amid the tragedy, and Sam’s name came up the most.

“We were grabbing a bite to eat earlier today (and) the waitress was wearing a Freeman Strong T-shirt,” Miller said. “But that T-shirt will fade and the ribbons will go away. We wanted a way to always remember what it really meant to be Freeman Strong, and Sam is the ultimate example of that.”