GREEN SEA — On what would have been his 68th birthday Monday, family members, friends and community members gathered near the intersection of S.C. 410 and S.C. 9 to memorialize Horry County police Lt. John Ronald Floyd.
The intersection is renamed after Floyd, who died June 25, 1986, while responding to a call from his neighbor about a prowler near her house. New signs were unveiled Monday that name the intersection after the 13-year veteran of the Horry County Police Department.
State Rep. Jackie Hayes said a member of Floyd’s family initiated the renaming of the intersection.
“It’s ironic that today is his birthday, Oct. 14. . . . I apologize it took 27 years. This should have been done a long time ago,” Hayes said Monday. “We’re so thankful for him and what he’s done and what he means to this community. He was a team player. . . . Here was a man that was at home, that got a phone call He didn’t have to go. He could have said I’m not working, but he went beyond the call of duty. I’m sure he’s looking down today.”
Floyd was the first Horry County police officer killed in the line of duty, Chief Saundra Rhodes said Monday. The dedication of the intersection allows the community to know and remember Floyd, who served in many capacities during his time with the department.
Being a police officer “requires us to love the community because we know we have to love it so much that we’re willing to give our life for the community,” Rhodes said. “He was loving his community, serving his community. . . . He died doing what heroes do, coming to the aid to someone in need.”
John Ronald Floyd Jr., an officer with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said that watching the way his father helped the community helped instill the values he carries with him today.
“I got to see him a little bit through the years in his law enforcement capacity and it weighed a lot on me in how I tried to treat people,” Ronnie Floyd Jr., said Monday of his father. “I still hear his laughter daily when I laugh because I kind of have his laugh. . . . I’ve talked to a lot of people through the years and I am proud to say that I am a Junior.
Horry County Sheriff Phillip Thompson was an Horry County police lieutenant alongside Lt. Ronald Floyd when he was killed and recalled “working with Ronald Floyd was a trip.”
“We all tried our best to keep up with Ronald. Ronald was referred to as the go-to man. He could help you he could advise you. He could guide you,” Thompson said Monday. “He was really a true leader. This county today is a better place because of Lt. Floyd.”
Thompson said the day of Floyd’s death there had been heavy rains in the area and there was some flooding. He said Floyd had returned home from a trip and when the neighbor called and asked him to come to her house, Floyd called his supervisor to clear it with him.
While driving to the woman’s house, Floyd’s vehicle hydroplaned, went off the roadway and struck a tree, Thompson said.
“That incident sent shock waves through this family, through this department and through this community,” Thompson said. “The outpouring of support here today [Monday] is an example of 27 years ago a man sacrificed in what he did. He’s an example for us to follow.”
Years later on Feb. 8, 2001, Floyd’s mother, Gladys F. Floyd, died at the intersection in a two-vehicle crash, Thompson said.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.