Bill passed to rename State Highway 64 to honor fallen National Guardsman

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A bill has been passed in the New York State Legislature to rename a portion of State Highway 64 in Mendon in honor of National Guardsman Christian Koch.

Koch, 39, of Honeoye Falls along with and 30-year-old Daniel Prial of Rochester and 54-year-old Steven Skoda of Rochester were killed in a helicopter crash in January near the highway.

According to the New York Army National Guard, the UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine training mission when it crashed in a farmer’s field along West Bloomfield Road near Cheese Factory Road.

“Chief Warrant Officer Koch gave his life while serving our nation, and we will forever be grateful for his sacrifice,” State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said in a statement.

“The death of Chief Warrant Officer Koch highlights the dangers that come with service to our nation, both foreign and domestic, and forces us to remember that freedom comes at a tremendous cost. I am proud to have joined with Assemblywoman Byrnes in renaming a portion of State Highway 64 in Christian J. Koch’s honor and hope it serves as a reminder of his commitment to our state and nation.” 

State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt along with Assemblymember Marjorie Byrnes sponsored the legislation.

“Our entire community was rocked by the tragic death of Christian and his fellow guardsmen. He has given his entire life in service to our community, state and nation. Though he is no longer here with us, we are making sure his memory will live on forever,” Byrnes said in a statement. “Christian’s friends and family have suffered a great loss. I hope this designation will remind them of how grateful we are for Christian’s service and sacrifice.”

If signed into law by the governor, the bill would create the “Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian J. Koch Memorial Highway.” The portion of the state highway being renamed in Koch’s honor is close to where he lived with his wife and children, and also near the site of the helicopter crash.

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