Media: Photos of the event can be found in the online photo album.
Effingham, SC — The SC Department of Public Safety held a Highway Dedication in honor of fallen trooper Sergeant Robert A. Mobley who was killed in the line of duty on July 19, 1979, in Florence County. The ceremony was held Friday, January 26 at the Evergreen Baptist Church in Effingham with close relatives, friends, law enforcement, and first responders in attendance.
The SC Department of Transportation formally unveiled highway signs designating the portion of SC-51, Pamplico Highway, between Flowers Road and Willard Henry Road in Florence County the Sergeant Robert A. Mobley Highway. Mobley was on duty in Florence County when he was killed while conducting a traffic stop. During contact with the motorcyclist, a struggle took place and the driver took control of Sergeant Mobley’s firearm, shooting Mobley six times. Sergeant Mobley died at the scene.
“Although Sergeant Mobley’s life was tragically lost while serving and protecting the state of South Carolina, we want to make sure his legacy lives on,” said Robert G. Woods, IV, Director of SCDPS. “These highway dedications serve as a solemn reminder to us all that life is precious. We must do everything we can to ensure these heroes, who gave the ultimate sacrifice, are never forgotten.”
Mobley was born on November 12, 1928, in Alabama, but grew up in Greenwood, South Carolina. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Mobley joined the South Carolina Highway Patrol in 1958 and patrolled the roadways of Anderson County during the first 14 years of his service. In 1972, Patrolman Mobley was promoted to Corporal and transferred to Florence County. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1978 and continued to serve in Florence County until his death in 1979. Throughout his 21 years with the Highway Patrol, he was well-known and well-liked, and he treated others he met with professionalism, respect, and fairness.
“Although nearly 45 years have passed since Sergeant Mobley was laid to rest, we have not forgotten him,” said Colonel Christopher Williamson, Commander of the SC Highway Patrol. “He spent much of his life wearing the Highway Patrol uniform and he will always be part of this family. These highway signs will serve as reminders to future generations of Sergeant Mobley’s sacrifice in the line of duty.”
At the time of his death, Sergeant Mobley was survived by his wife, Nell Grover; his three sons, Dwight, Ralph, and Walter; his mother; his brother and sister; and two grandchildren. He was buried with full military honors at the Florence National Cemetery and was later inducted into the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officer’s Hall of Fame in 1986.
Mobley’s son Ralph had been a SC Highway Patrol trooper for two years at the time of his father’s death in 1979. He went on to serve as Colonel of the Highway Patrol in 1999 until his retirement in 2001. Colonel Ralph Mobley passed away in 2018.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.