Ortt, Byrnes Legislation Signed Into Law

Robert G. Ortt

July 30, 2021

Sen. Ortt and Assemblywoman Byrnes share the signing of co-sponsored legislation renaming a portion of State Highway 64 the Chief Warrant Officer Christian J. Koch Memorial Highway.

Today, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes are proud to share that their bill (S.5399/A.7031) renaming a portion of State Highway 64 after Chief Warrant Officer Christian Koch was signed by the Governor.

On the night of January 20, 2021, Chief Warrant Officer Koch, alongside Chief Warrant Officers Steven Skoda and Daniel Prial, were carrying out a training mission in their UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter when the transport aircraft crashed in a Mendon, NY field. All three U.S. Army National Guardsmen perished in the crash.

At the request of the Koch family and local government officials, legislation to rename a portion of State Highway 64 close to where the Chief Warrant Officer Koch's wife and children live was sponsored by Sen. Ortt and Assemblywoman Byrnes.

“Chief Warrant Officer Koch was a hero who gave his life while serving our nation, and we will forever be grateful for his sacrifice,” said Sen. Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda). “Whether a soldier’s duties be on foreign soil or here at home, the dangers that come with service to our country are always present. I am honored to have sponsored this legislation to rename a portion of State Highway 64 in Chief Warrant Officer Koch’s memory, and I hope that it serves as a reminder for all those who travel on it what the true cost of freedom is.”

“Christian Koch is our local hero,” said Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R,C-Caledonia). “His 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. I am thankful the governor signed this legislation, which shows that the entire state shares in our loss and our desire to honor Christian.” 

The aforementioned portion of State Highway 64 will now be known as the “Chief Warrant Officer Christian J. Koch Memorial Highway.”