San Diego

Soldier's Memorial Bridge One Step Closer to Reality

Army Specialist Chase Simmons suffered major injuries in a 2015 accident and clung to life for 15 more months

It’s been a long journey from idea to reality for the Army Specialist Chase Simmons Memorial Bridge.

It hasn’t officially been unveiled yet, but thanks to County Supervisors and tireless effort from the soldier’s mother, it could soon.

Vicki Simmons’ son, Chase, died in 2017 from a traumatic brain injury he suffered in a crash 15 months earlier. He was a fighter just like his mom.

On Thursday, Vicki made her third and final plea to the Ramona Community Planning Group to name a small bridge on San Vincente Road in his honor. They voted unanimously to recommend the proposition to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Chase had just returned home from deployment in Korea when he was involved in a car accident at the intersection of State Route 67 and Post Hill Road in Lakeside in December of 2015.

As he was turning left in his SUV, he was broadsided by a semi-truck. He clung to life for more than a year before his injuries ultimately took his life. He was just 23 years old.

Chase served soldiers struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for 18 months in Korea.

“Chase has always had a heart to serve and take care of other people, which is something you just fell in love with about him,” Vicki said.

Simmons will forever be memorialized by the bridge feet away from the entrance of his Alma mater, Ramona High School.

What will make memorial even more special is the fact that Chase’s uncle, who was almost like a best friend to the soldier, helped build the bridge in 2001.

Vicki isn't sure how exactly it will appear, she said she’s hoping to see a plaque or sign her son's name on it very soon.

The Board of Supervisors still has to pass a vote on the proposal, but District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob has already thrown her support behind the bridge memorial.

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