Retired Marine Heath Silcot only wanted to honor a fallen soldier. After Staff Sergeant David Stewart was killed in Afghanistan last June, Silcot and other veterans rode their motorcycles in a massive procession to escort their Stewart’s body back home to Stafford, Virginia.
Unfortunately, the detail crossed over a toll bridge. Silcot, along with the rest of the procession, didn’t stop to pay and was later fined for his actions. He told reporters at WJLA he was issued a $9 ticket and then given an additional fine for not paying on time after he disputed the ticket.
Silcot attempted contact the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) to explain why he didn’t pay the toll in the first place. He included a a letter from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office confirming his participation in the procession but, while waiting for a response, the deadline to pay the ticket passed. Silcot was fined $50.
After writing to Governor Martin O’ Malley’s office, the late fine was waived but he received a note back from he head of the MTA, who said he was responding on behalf of the governor. It read, “Please note unless an arrangement is made with the Transportation Authority in advance of the event, the customer is still liable for the toll.”
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The motorcycle procession travelled all the way from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in order to make sure their fellow Marine was shown the respect he deserved. “I know what being a Marine is about, I know how the brotherhood is,” Silcot said.
Silcot has since paid the ticket, but he’s not happy. “It was an honor for me to drive to Dover and to make sure that his family received him in an honorable way,” Silcot said. “If we were going on a joyride, I could see it, but for what we were doing, it’s sad.”
Image via WJLA