The CHP family mourns the loss of Officer Lucas Forrest Chellew, I.D. 19402, who was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 22, 2017. Officer Chellew, 31, was involved in a traffic collision while in pursuit of a motorist in South Sacramento. Officer Chellew suffered major injuries and was transported to University of California, Davis, Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.
On Saturday, March 12, 2016, at approximately 1425 hours, Gold Run Area Officer Nathan Taylor, ID 20154, was providing traffic control at the scene of a collision on Interstate 80 westbound at Castle Peak Road. Officer Taylor was directing traffic from the #1 lane into the #2 lane of Interstate 80 westbound in heavy snow conditions. As he was directing traffic, a Nissan Pathfinder approached his location. The Nissan changed from the #2 lane to the #1 lane to pass the slowing traffic. The driver, for unknown reasons, lost control of the vehicle and struck Officer Taylor.
Shortly after 6:00 a.m. on February 17, 2014, CHP Officer Juan Gonzalez, I.D. 18935, and Officer Brian Law, I.D. 18896, were killed in a traffic collision on southbound SR-99 near Kingsburg, Calif., while responding to an incident. The officers, who were classmates at the Academy, were working as partners in the same patrol car.
Shortly after 6:00 a.m. on February 17, 2014, CHP Officer Juan Gonzalez, I.D. 18935, and Officer Brian Law, I.D. 18896, were killed in a traffic collision on southbound SR-99 near Kingsburg, Calif., while responding to an incident. The officers, who were classmates at the Academy, were working as partners in the same patrol car.
September 5, at approximately 6:05 PM. CHP Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, I.D. 18063, was pronounced deceased.
Officer Youngstrom entered the CHP Academy in August 2005 and was assigned to the CHP’s Contra Costa Area upon graduation in February 2006. He transferred to the CHP’s Golden Gate Division headquarters in January 2009 and most recently transferred back to the Contra Costa Area office on Aug. 1, 2012.
On February 15, 2011, California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Adams (#19365) of the Garberville Area office was killed in a collision while traveling on U.S. 101 just south of the town of Piercy California. Officer Adams was 24 years of age. He grew up in the San Francisco area and is survived by his parents Bruce and Karen Adams, and his brother, Sean Adams. His mother, Karen, is a public safety dispatcher for the CHP who is assigned to the Humboldt Communications Center. Officer Adams was assigned to the Oakland Area office upon graduation from the Academy on January 23, 2009 and transferred to the Garberville Area office September 1, 2010.
CHP officer killed in collision while responding to high-speed pursuit
Friday, June 11, 2010
Update – viewing, funeral and trust fund:
The viewing of Officer Coleman will take place on Wednesday June 16, 2010.
Mountain View Mortuary - 470 E. Highland Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92404
1600-1700 Hours – Immediate family only
1700-2100 Hours – Family and friends
Memorial services will take place on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 1000 hours.
Redlands Bowl – 25 Grant Street, Redlands, CA 92373
A trust fund has been set up for the Benavides family with the C.A.H.P. Credit Union. Please make any checks payable to Megan Benavides and mail to:
C.A.H.P. Credit Union
PO Box 826
San Dimas, CA 91773
California Highway Patrol Officer Danny Benavides was killed Friday, May 7, 2010, when his Cessna 206 patrol aircraft crashed in a remote section of desert southwest of the Salton Sea in Imperial County.
On October 29, 2009, at approximately 1210 hours, while returning home from the Area office after testifying in court, Officer Martinez was riding his personal motorcycle W/B on Steele Street at Foxen Canyon Road when another vehicle crossed over double yellow lines directly into his path. Officer Martinez took evasive action causing him to be ejected from his motorcycle. Officer Martinez was then struck by the errant vehicle causing fatal injuries. He is survived by his wife, daughter, sister, and his parents.
Officer Sanders Struck by Car on Rain-Slicked Freeway
Monday, December 15, 2008
On Monday, December 15, 2008, at approximately 4:30 a.m., Officer Joseph Paul Sanders, I.D. 18781, of Santa Fe Springs Area, was struck by a car while laying a flare pattern in heavy rain. He was life-flighted to USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
Officer Russell had just deployed a spike strip on the roadway and taken cover in the center median when the suspect deliberately swerved into the center median and struck Officer Russell. Officer Russell died as a result of being struck. The suspect fled the scene and was apprehended shortly after by CHP officers.
Officer Russell was flown to UCD, in Sacramento, where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later. Officer Russell is survived by his wife.
CHP Family Mourns the Loss of Officer Robert Dickey
Sunday, June 10, 2007
It was already a hot morning in Winterhaven on Sunday, June 10. Officer Robert Dickey, I.D. 17001, was patrolling Interstate 8 when the tire on his patrol vehicle was punctured and his car flipped several times, damaging it so much it was barely recognizable as a CHP car.
Officer Brent William Clearman, I.D. 17843, died Sunday morning, Aug. 6, 2006, from massive internal injuries suffered as a result of a hit-and-run accident at 10:55 p.m. the night before. He was struck while conducting an investigation of a collision on the 66th Ave. on-ramp to northbound Interstate 880 in Oakland.
The driver of the car that hit him turned himself in on Monday afternoon and will face multiple charges.
Officer Bailey was on an enforcement stop on the right shoulder of northbound I-15 south of Ranchero Road. While speaking with the violator, an errant driver struck Officer Bailey’s motorcycle, the violator’s vehicle, and Officer Bailey. Officer Bailey was transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center via helicopter where he succumbed to his injuries at 2346 hours.
Lieutenant Michael E. Walker was struck and killed by a vehicle while at the scene of an earlier accident on state Highway 17 near Santa Cruz.
A Caltrans employee was also struck and seriously injured by the vehicle when the driver lost control at approximately 10:15 PM. The driver of the vehicle was killed in the accident.
Lieutenant Walker is survived by his wife, two daughters, and three brothers. One of Lieutenant Walkers brothers, Robert (Bob) Walker, is an Officer of the Department assigned to the Auburn Area.
On December 21, 2005, at approximately 1115 hours, Officer Erick Manny was traveling northbound on Interstate 5 in Kern County (Grapevine Overpass) in pursuit of an unknown vehicle. Preliminary information indicates that Officer Manny took evasive action when a truck changed lanes into his path. Officer Manny’s patrol vehicle subsequently overturned and he sustained fatal injuries.
Officer Manny is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.
On November 17, 2005, Officer Andrew Stevens made a traffic stop near the intersection of County Road 96 at Highway 16. During the traffic stop, Officer Stevens was shot and killed. The suspect subsequently fled the scene. Passing motorists who witnessed the incident used Officer Stevens’ radio to call for assistance.
The suspect was arrested early the next morning with the assistance of several allied agencies.
On September 23, 2005, at 0953 hours, Officer David Marin Romero, #10116, was on patrol, stopped at a red traffic signal in the left hand turn lane on northbound Turnbull Canyon Road at Valley Boulevard in the City of Industry.
Some people are lucky enough to have names that describe them perfectly. Officer James Goodman, I.D. 11144, was such a person. A 20-year CHP veteran, Goodman was known for his dedication and bravery, and earned the Medal of Valor for his heroic efforts to save victims after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
CHP Family Mourns Loss of Officer in Shooting Death
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Officer Thomas J. Steiner, I.D. 15729, was gunned down in front of a Pomona courthouse April 21 at approximately 2:45 p.m. Steiner had finished testifying in a series of traffic cases and was walking to his car. As he was about to cross the street, a car stopped, the driver got out, leaned over the hood, yelled obscenities at Steiner and fired four shots at him. The killer got back into his vehicle and sped away.
Officer Pino Remembered for His Dedication to the CHP
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Officer Paul Pino died the morning of Dec. 30, 2003. It was in between early winter storms on Highway 395, a beautiful stretch of road shadowed by Mt. Whitney, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is the main route used by Southern California winter sports enthusiasts on their way to Mammoth Mountain or Lake Tahoe. That morning a young driver in a SUV, fighting to stay awake after a night of partying, was headed north — and headed toward disaster.
In a small town, it’s easy to get to know the local law enforcement officers, especially when they are friendly and helpful and active in the community. So the tight-knit town of Weaverville was in mourning when Officer Robert Coulter, I.D. 12941, died in a tragic accident. Coulter, 39, died Nov. 2 after his shotgun apparently discharged unintentionally while he was locking it into place in his patrol car.
Officer Shannon Distel, I.D. 15357, of the Riverside Area, was killed Wednesday, Aug. 27, when his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck pulling a trailer. Investigators say Distel, 31, was patrolling on surface streets in Riverside at 4:15 p.m. when the driver of the pickup turned left in front of Distel at a busy intersection, causing Distel to run into it.
Officer Pedro Remembered for Dedicated Service and Love of Music
Monday, June 3, 2002
Hundreds crowded into the large Twin Lakes Church in Aptos to honor Officer John Pedro. Despite the enormous assembly, the mood was quiet as a tuba quintet, The Bay Area Tuba Union, played a selection of classical pieces. John, a band member in the Air Force Reserves, was partial to tuba music.
Officer Pedro died June 3, two weeks shy of his 37th birthday. He is the 193rd patrolman to die in the line of duty since the Department formed in 1929.
Tragedy struck the Oceanside Area again with the Aug. 12 on-duty death of Officer Steve Linen, I.D. 13812.
The 31-year-old officer was issuing a ticket to a speeder on northbound Interstate 5 in Leucadia when an underage, suspected drunken driver slammed into the back of the patrol unit, killing Officer Linen.
Described as a big man with a big heart, a great individual and a devoted family man, Sean Nava, I.D. 12890, was well known for his courage and professionalism.
“He wasn’t just good at the technical aspects of policing,” said Oceanside Public Affairs Officer Teri Reese, I.D. 11861, in a newspaper interview. “He was the whole package and a wonderful team player.”
CHP officer killed on side of road by sleepy driver
Friday, November 15, 1996
Officer James D. Schultz and his partner, Officer Robert Sapp, were investigating an abandoned vehicle on the shoulder of Interstate 8 when a sleepy driver’s vehicle drifted toward the right shoulder, where the trailer he was towing struck Schultz. Officer Sapp immediately began emergency medical care on the 46-year-old patrolman and Schultz was quickly transported to the hospital, but he died just hours later. Officer Schultz was a 24-year CHP veteran.
Officer John N. McVeigh, Jr. was responding to an injury collision when he lost control of his patrol car as it rounded a curve. McVeigh’s patrol car spun into the opposing lane of traffic where it was struck broadside by an oncoming pick-up. Although McVeigh was securely belted in his seat and his air bag deployed, the force of the impact killed the 38-year-old officer instantly. Officer McVeigh was a 13-year veteran of the CHP and a 1992 King City Officer of the Year.
Lieutenant John C. Helmick, Red Bluff Area commander, was killed when the car he was driving crashed into a Caltrans truck parked on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 99. Lieutenant Helmick, 43, was on his way to speak at a luncheon of the Oroville Rotary Club when the accident occurred at 11:10 a.m. He was a 20-year CHP veteran and had been commander of the Red Bluff Area for three years. Lieutenant Helmick was the brother of CHP Commissioner Dwight (Spike) Helmick (7308).
Officer Mark T. Taylor was on Thanksgiving holiday patrol along Interstate 10 near Palm Springs when he made an enforcement stop. Taylor was completing the citation when an elderly motorist struck the vehicle being cited which in turn struck Taylor, throwing him into the path of the elderly motorist where he was struck again. The 28-year-old patrol officer was killed instantly. Taylor had been a member of the CHP for three years and was assigned to Indio after Academy training.
CHP Officer Drowned After Vehicle Submerged in Creek
Tuesday, February 24, 1981
Officer Paul C. Jarske was driving in snow-slush conditions when he lost control of his vehicle. Jarske’s patrol car skidded and left the highway, struck several obstructions then plunged into a creek, landing upside down. Officer Jarske was submerged in the water and drowned. The 47-year-old officer was a 17-year veteran of the Patrol.
Officer Ernest R. Felio was on routine patrol when he was shot and killed by a motorist he stopped for questioning. A security guard at a nearby farming operation testified he heard a brief conversation between the motorist and the officer, then heard the sound of two shots. The 49-year-old patrol officer was an 18-year CHP veteran who served 17 years at the Crescent City Area office. A description provided by the security guard led to the capture of Felio’s killer.
Officer Donald R. Holloway, a licensed private pilot, was using his personal aircraft to fly to a court appearance where he was testifying in a criminal case. Holloway was returning to his home in Coalinga when his aircraft crashed, killing him instantly. The 37-year-old patrol officer had been a member of the Patrol for 11 years.
Officer Ward E. Washington was killed when a truck blew a tire and the driver lost control, hurtling the truck off the Pomona Freeway and striking Officer Washington as he was having lunch at an outdoor restaurant. Ironically, Washington, 39, had been assigned to reduce truck accidents by inspecting the vehicles in truck yards and on the roads for safety violations.
Officer William B. Wolff, III was returning to his vehicle after making an enforcement stop along the San Bernardino Freeway when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The force of the impact was such that Wolff was thrown over the vehicle he cited and was killed instantly. The 32-year-old patrol officer had joined the CHP four years earlier and had served in the Baldwin Park Area since graduating from the Academy. The motorist who killed Officer Wolff was charged with felony drunk driving.
Officer Edward A. Parker III was found slumped over the wheel of his patrol car after suffering a heart attack following the pursuit of a speeding motorcyclist in Riverside. Parker was rushed to the hospital but suffered two more heart attacks and died. Officer Parker, 33, was an 11-year veteran of the CHP.
Officer Robert A. Phillips was patrolling on his motorcycle when the rear tire blew out, causing him to lose control. Phillips motorcycle spun around, throwing him to the ground and killing the 29-year-old patrol officer instantly. Officer Phillips had been a member of the CHP for eight years.
Officer Keith M. Giles was patrolling on the graveyard shift and stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation shortly after 2 a.m. Giles was standing on the left side of the stopped vehicle when a passing car drifted over the edge of the roadway and struck the patrol officer, killing him almost instantly. The errant driver apparently dozed off and may have been driving under the influence of alcohol. Officer Giles, 34, was a four-year member of the CHP.
Officer Ralph D. Percival had just completed writing a citation to a traffic violator and was returning to his motorcycle when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The 44-year-old patrol officer was a 17-year CHP veteran and had worked most of his career out of the Redwood City Area office.
State Police Sergeant slipped and drowned while patrolling the California Aqueduct
Wednesday, January 23, 1974
State Police Sergeant Elias S. Enriquez was patrolling the California Aqueduct in the afternoon when he apparently slipped, fell into the canal and drowned. Investigators believe he was walking along the concrete lining of the canal and wrapping illegal fishing line around his hand that he retrieved from the canal when he fell into the water. Sergeant Enriquez was 32.
Officer Robert H. Harrison, Jr. and his partner, Officer Robert Wertman, were pursuing a drunk-driving suspect when a motorist changed lanes abruptly in front of the patrol car. Harrison struck the rear of the vehicle and the impact propelled the patrol car over the edge of the freeway into the bottom of Arroyo Seco channel 25 feet below. Office Wertman survived his injuries, but Officer Harrison was killed. He was 26 and a four-year member of the Patrol.
Officer William P. Sniffen was pursuing a speeding motorist on the Nimitz Freeway when the vehicle rear-ended another car that was stopped for a previous collision and then burst into flames. Sniffen lost control and his motorcycle was thrown under the burning vehicle, killing the 31-year-old patrol officer almost instantly. Officer Sniffen was a seven-year member of the CHP and had served previously in San Leandro and Oakland.
Officer Larry L. Wetterling was fatally shot by a motorist he stopped in San Bernardino for suspected drunk driving. After shooting Wetterling, the motorist stole the patrol officer’s car, but rolled over as he raced away. He later killed two other people before he was captured. Officer Wetterling, 30, had been a member of the Patrol for six years and transferred to San Bernardino from Riverside
Officer William D. McKim, assigned to the Coyote Scale Facility near San Jose, was pursuing a commercial vehicle violator when his patrol car crossed the center divider on U.S. Highway 101 and was struck by a truck and trailer. The 50-year-old patrol officer was killed instantly. McKim, a veteran of 19 years service with the CHP, had been assigned to San Jose for 17 years. Before joining the CHP, McKim had been a firefighter with the city of Modesto.
Officer Kenneth G. Roediger and his partner, Officer Norman R. Roy, stopped a motorist and had him outside the vehicle when a struggle began. Roediger managed to force the motorist to the ground and had him in a position to be handcuffed, when the man suddenly grabbed Roedigers gun and shot the patrolman. Officer Roy then shot and killed the assailant. Officer Roediger, 24, had been a member of the CHP since 1970 and was the son of Leslie R. Roediger (718), a retired CHP officer.
Officer Dana E. Paladini and a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene of a vehicle accident involving a horse trailer. One animal suffered a broken leg, and the owners asked the officers to shoot the horse. The deputy sheriff fired three shots – one ricocheted off the trailer wall striking Officer Paladini, who died shortly afterward. The 25-year-old patrol officer had been a member of the CHP for only nine months.
Officer Alfred G. Johnson had just stopped a vehicle for speeding and was exiting his vehicle to begin the enforcement contact when an oncoming motorist struck the left front of the stopped vehicle, then hit and killed Johnson. The 29-year-old patrol officer had been a member of the CHP for six years and had previously served in San Leandro, Los Banos and Merced Area offices.
Officer Robert A. Mayer was killed when the front wheel of his motorcycle apparently developed a high-speed wobble that sent the motorcycle out of control. Mayer was thrown into the center divider and killed. The 25-year-old patrolman had been a member of the CHP for almost three years and had served at the Central Los Angeles and West Los Angeles Area offices.
Officer Loren D. Scruggs, 35, had stopped a car for a registration violation when another driver parked across the road and approached him to ask directions. While Scruggs was answering his questions, the young man suddenly pulled a gun and shot the patrol officer. The killer fled but was found later – a suicide. Scruggs was a nine-year veteran of the CHP and had served his entire career in Santa Maria, where he had also attended high school and college.
On April 10, 1971, Officer Robert J. Quirk, #1771 was involved in a foot pursuit of three subjects. After the pursuit Officer Quirk was sweating, skin was pale, and his breathing was heavy. Officer Quirk continued to feel ill and tired. On April 11, 1971, Officer Quirk suffered a heart attack and passed away. Officer Quirk is survived by his wife Patricia, and his five children Michael, Shelia, Dan, Phil, and Ken.
Officer Nathan I. Seidenberg was traveling along U.S. Highway 101 near San Rafael when a drunk driver crossed into his lane of traffic and struck Seidenbergs patrol car head-on. Both the errant drunk driver and the 26-year-old patrolman were killed instantly. Seidenberg, a native of San Francisco, graduated from the CHP Academy two years earlier and was assigned to the Marin-Golden Gate Bridge Area in November, 1969.
Officer Raymond R. Carpenter was shot and killed by a 20-year-old motorist he stopped on Interstate 80. The car the young man was driving was proved to be stolen. Later, as officers closed in to capture Carpenters killer, the suspect committed suicide. The 40-year-old patrol officer was a native of the Auburn Area where he had been assigned for 13 years. Prior to joining the CHP in 1956, Officer Carpenter had spent nine years in the U.S. Air Force.
Officer Ambers O. Shewmaker was patrolling near Banning late in the evening when he was shot by a motorist he stopped for speeding. Shewmaker was using his radio at the time he was shot, and his killer was driving a stolen car. The 28-year-old patrol officer died the following day and his killer was captured soon after the shooting. Officer Shewmaker had been a CHP officer for nine months.
Officer Robert M. Blomo was on patrol when his motorcycle struck a tractor-trailer that pulled out in front of him at an intersection. Blomo’s motorcycle was dragged 82 feet, slid into a curb and burst into flames, killing the patrol officer. The 25-year-old officer had been a member of the CHP for three years and was assigned to Baldwin Park since graduating from the Academy in 1966.
Officer Richard G. Woods was enroute to court to testify in a criminal case when he encountered stop-and-go traffic on the freeway. Woods was in the process of changing lanes when the traffic ahead of him came to a sudden stop. The patrol officer’s motorcycle struck the rear of a panel truck that stopped in front of him, killing the 29-year-old patrolman. Officer Woods was a member of the CHP for almost three years and had served in Central Los Angeles before being assigned to Baldwin Park
Officer Wesley D. Johnson was on routine patrol when his vehicle struck a road marker, causing him to lose control. Johnson’s patrol car hit an embankment and rolled over several times, killing the 39-year-old officer. Johnson was an 11-year veteran of the CHP and had served in the Merced Area office for 10 years before transferring to Sonora.
Officer Kenneth E. Marshall was probably pursuing a violator, investigators later determined, when his patrol car skidded on a rain-slicked roadway and struck a light pole. Another patrol officer reached the scene minutes after the crash, but found the 31-year-old patrolman had been killed instantly. Marshall graduated from the CHP Academy in 1962 and served in the San Francisco Area before transferring to the Humboldt Area in 1965.
Officer Merle L. Andrews was pursuing a stolen vehicle whose driver was the subject of an all-points-bulletin sought on robbery and kidnapping charges. Andrews stopped the suspect and radioed for back-up, then approached the vehicle with his weapon drawn. The driver opened fire, killing the 39-year-old patrol officer. The gunman fled, but was captured a few hours later. Andrews was a member of the Patrol for nine years.
Officer Charles R. Lilly and his partner had just pulled over two traffic violators. Lilly was standing at the driver’s door of one of the stopped vehicles when a passing car struck and killed him. The killer of the 30-year-old patrol officer then fled but was apprehended within minutes. Before joining the CHP in 1965, Officer Lilly had served with the San Francisco Police Department.
Officer William C. Isaacs was patrolling on his motorcycle and negotiating a turn when he was thrown from his motorcycle and sustained fatal injuries. The 37-year-old patrolman had served with the Patrol for eight years and was a police officer with the city of Rialto prior to joining the CHP.
Officer Michael S. Griffin was patrolling along U.S. Highway 50 near the Sacramento-El Dorado County line when the wheel of his motorcycle apparently developed a high-speed wobble that sent the motorcycle out of control. Griffin was thrown to the ground and died five days later. The 33-year-old patrolman had served in East Los Angeles, Norwalk, Placerville and Sacramento during his nine years as a CHP member.
Officer Martin J. Tripptree’s motorcycle collided with an automobile in Carmichael on April 22, 1964. Tripptree underwent several operations for head injuries, but succumbed after a long struggle. The 41-year-old patrol officer was a nine-year member of the CHP. Officer Tripptree served in Barstow after graduating from the Academy in 1956 and then transferred to Sacramento in 1957.
CHP Officer killed while assisting accident victim
Wednesday, December 23, 1964
Officer Jerrel H. Shows responded to an accident scene and was assisting one of the crash victims, when both were struck by a passing car driven by a drunk driver. Shows was killed instantly and the accident victim he had been assisting sustained critical injuries. The drunk driver was uninjured. Officer Shows, 28, had just graduated from the Academy three weeks earlier.
Officer Leonard L. Layton was enroute to a court appearance in Ukiah when he was killed on U.S. Highway 101. Accident investigators reported the patrol car went over an embankment while rounding a curve on the rain-slicked pavement. Layton, 26, had graduated from the Academy a year earlier. His father, Officer Leonard M. Layton, was on active duty at the time of his son’s death.
Officer Charles O. Woodworth was on patrol July 27, 1964 and had just pulled away from a stop sign when his motorcycle was struck broadside by an automobile. Woodworth sustained serious leg injuries from the impact of the crash, but his condition did not appear life-threatening. As he was recovering, Officer Woodworth suffered a fatal embolism attributed to the accident two weeks earlier.
Officer James F. Stamback had just parked his patrol car behind an automobile he stopped because its load of lumber was protruding beyond the legal limit. The patrolman was talking to the driver when, without warning, a two-ton flatbed truck suddenly barreled down on the scene, hitting the patrol car and pushing it into the other vehicle. Stamback received critical injuries from the impact and died 13 days later. The 29-year-old patrolman had been a member of the CHP for nine years.
Officer Coburn B. Jewell had parked his patrol car on the highway shoulder with the amber light burning. Jewell was sitting on the passenger side of the front seat when a motorist lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the parked patrol car. The motorist’s vehicle was traveling at 50 m.p.h. when it struck and the force of the impact killed Officer Jewell.
Officer Kenneth L. Witke was patrolling in West Los Angeles when a vehicle made a left turn in front of him without signalling. Witke was unable to brake and avoid a fatal collision. The 50-year-old patrolman was a 17-year veteran of the Highway Patrol with prior law enforcement service that included a stint as a U.S. Army MP and a state policeman assigned to the Department of Finance.
CHP Officer Killed While Attempting to Save 3 Children
Sunday, January 12, 1964
Sergeant William D. Huckaby was attempting to save the lives of three small children who had climbed onto a slow-moving freight train passing through South Los Angeles. As Huckaby rode his motorcycle down the railroad right-of-way to catch the train, he struck a cable that had been stretched between two posts. The 33-year-old sergeant sustained critical injuries and died four days later. He had been a member of the Patrol for seven years.
Officer Ralph A. Minion was killed when a motorist, trying to avoid rear-ending a slow-moving truck, swerved over the center divider and crashed head-on into Minion’s motorcycle. Minion did not have a chance to swerve or brake and was killed instantly.
Officer Merle E. DeWitt was on his way home from holiday patrol duty when his motorcycle collided with an out-of-control car on the Santa Ana Freeway. The car, driven by an airman stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, hit the center divider, spun out, hit another vehicle and then crashed into DeWitt’s motorcycle. The 50-year-old patrolman, the 20-year-old driver and his 21-year-old passenger were all killed instantly. Officer DeWitt was a 21-year veteran of the CHP.
Officer John R. Ellis and his partner, Officer Delton S. Lawless, were responding to an accident call when their patrol unit skidded on a rain-slicked roadway outside Visalia and crashed into a grove of trees. Both officers were wearing seat belts and Lawless, the driver, was able to extricate himself and his partner from the wrecked patrol car. Officer Ellis had been killed instantly. The 35-year-old patrol officer had been a member of the CHP for five years.
Officer Donald E. Brandon was traveling west when another vehicle heading north struck his patrol vehicle broadside at an intersection in Ridgecrest. The 30-year-old patrolman was killed by the impact. Brandon had joined the CHP in 1962 and had been a member of the Patrol for less than one year.
Officer Gary L. Grow was killed when the plane he was piloting collided with another aircraft. Grow was flying one of two planes leased by the Patrol for aircraft observational studies over U.S. Highway 99 and other highways. The aircraft test was a special assignment for Grow and he was detached from his area specifically for the project. Officer Grow, 28, had been a patrol officer for four years.
Officer William E. Pitois was pursuing a speeder when he came upon two slow-moving cars. As he was braking to go between them, his motorcycle skidded and struck the back end of one of the vehicles, causing him fatal injuries. Pitois, 29, was a member of the CHP for two years with previous service in the Newhall Area and on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Officer Robert D. Dale was patrolling along a rural two-lane road in Orange County. He had just passed a vehicle and was negotiating a sharp turn when he lost control of his motorcycle and slid into the path of an oncoming pick-up truck. Dale’s motorcycle struck the left front of the vehicle, killing the 25-year-old patrol officer instantly. He had served with the CHP for two years and had been assigned to the Anaheim Area office since graduation in 1958.
Officer Leonard W. Winney was pursuing a speeding motorist on the Santa Ana Canyon Road in Orange County when his motorcycle crashed into a heavy gravel truck that made a left turn across the highway. The truck driver, according to investigators, did not see the motorcycle and the officer did not have time to stop. Winney, 27, was a member of the CHP for three years and had served two years in the Anaheim Area office.
Officer Herbert F. Dimon was pursuing a speeding car in East Los Angeles when his motorcycle collided at an intersection with a motorist who ignored or did not see the red light or hear the siren. Dimon was wearing a safety helmet, but the impact killed the 28-year-old officer instantly. Officer Dimon had graduated from the Academy just four months earlier. Only hours before his death, he had received a letter from a citizen he cited a few days earlier, stating:
Officer Robert B. Heberlie was patrolling on Rosemead Boulevard when a vehicle suddenly turned left, striking Heberlies motorcycle broadside, killing the 31-year-old patrol officer. The motorist was charged with felony drunk driving and manslaughter. Heberlie had joined the CHP only seven months earlier after leaving the Los Angeles Police Department. The El Monte Area office was his first CHP assignment.
Officer Joseph F. Johnston, Jr. was pursuing a traffic violator on Rosemead Boulevard when the suspect suddenly crossed two lanes of traffic without signaling and turned left in front of the patrolman. Johnston struck the left front side of the vehicle and he died a short time later. The motorist was charged with manslaughter. Officer Johnston, 31, had just been appointed to the Patrol the previous March and the El Monte Area was his first assignment.
Officer Camile E. Madere was patrolling on his motorcycle through the city of Stanton. Madere was about to overtake and pass another vehicle when a tractor and semi-trailer pulled out of a driveway into the path of the officer and the vehicle he was going to pass. Both the patrolman and the motorist applied brakes in an attempt to avoid colliding with the truck. Maderes motorcycle skidded under the truck, killing the 35-year-old patrol officer instantly.
Officer Carl H. Jessing was pursuing a speeding motorist along the Imperial Highway when he collided with a car that crossed in front of his motorcycle at Firestone Boulevard. Jessing was thrown from his motorcycle and suffered a broken leg and other injuries. Initially his condition did not appear life-threatening, but he died the following day from a pulmonary embolism caused by the collision. The 39-year-old patrolman had been a member of the CHP for three years.
Officer Edward A. Frey was pursuing a speeder when the vehicle in front of him slowed to make a left turn. Frey was unable to stop and his motorcycle struck the vehicle ahead before glancing off into the path of an oncoming car. The 38-year-old patrol officer sustained critical internal injuries and died 10 days later.
Officer George A. Woodson was pursuing a Christmas-holiday speeder when his motorcycle skidded on rain-slicked pavement and crashed. A motorist found Woodson lying next to his motorcycle beside a chain-link fence that bordered the Santa Ana Freeway. The 32-year-old patrol officer was rushed to the hospital but died without regaining consciousness.
Officer Charles D. Goss had just completed his investigation of a five-car collision. As he left the site, his patrol car was struck head-on by a vehicle attempting to pass a truck. Goss was killed instantly. The 39-year-old officer was a 1952 graduate of the CHP Academy and the Madera Area was his first assignment. Charges were filed against the driver for attempting to pass the truck without sufficient clearance.
Officer James E. Maroney responded to a call for assistance put out by the Modoc County Sheriff in apprehending an armed suspect. As officers closed in, the suspect opened fire and Officer Maroney was killed during the ensuing gun battle. The 33-year-old patrolman had transferred to Alturas from Fresno just two months earlier.
Officer John C. La Mar was checking a vehicle hooked to a tow truck parked alongside U.S. Highway 99 near Bakersfield. He had set out flares to warn oncoming cars and was standing between the tow truck and the damaged vehicle, when a speeding motorist ran through the flares, plowed into the rear of the damaged car, and fatally injured La Mar. The 30-year-old patrolman was a former member of the Tulare Police Department and had served only two months with the CHP.
Officer John W. Armatoski was on an enforcement stop eastbound on U.S. Highway 66 west of Needles. After he completed the traffic citation, Armatoski was approaching the violator’s car on the left side when an intoxicated motorist, driving a stolen station wagon, sideswiped the parked vehicle and struck Armatoski. The patrol officer was killed instantly. Armatoski had been a member of the CHP for five years.
Officer Ralph A. Vargas was patrolling in a residential area when his patrol motorcycle collided with an automobile that abruptly made a left turn in front of his motorcycle. Vargas had no time to apply his brakes and crashed into the vehicle. The 26-year-old officer died just six hours after the accident. Vargas had joined the Patrol just two-and-a-half years earlier.
Officer William C. Foote, 33, was returning from a special traffic control assignment at the Salinas Rodeo when his motorcycle crashed head-on into another vehicle. Officers traveling with Foote believed a tire blowout or a crack in the pavement caused the patrolman to lose control and swerve into the path of the oncoming car. Foote, who joined the CHP in 1948, had just returned to the Patrol after a stint as a Marine Corps Reservist in the Korean War.
Officer Alvin Foss, 23, was preparing to go on duty when his revolver fell from its holster, struck the concrete floor, and discharged a round that struck the officer in the head. The weapon apparently fell on the back of the handle, jarring the firing pin firmly enough to trigger the fatal bullet. Foss joined the CHP a year earlier and had recently transferred to duty on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from Los Angeles.
Officer John R. Walters was pursuing a vehicle at high-speed on U.S. Highway 99, south of Bakersfield when a motorist headed the opposite direction crossed three lanes of traffic and crashed head-on into Walters’ motorcycle, killing the 36-year-old officer instantly. A charge of manslaughter was brought against the other driver.
Officer William L. Reardon was stopped on his motorcycle monitoring traffic on U.S. Highway 99 near Newhall when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Reardon, 52, was a 14-year veteran of the Highway Patrol. He had previously served with the Glendale Police Department and the Los Angeles County Traffic Squad before becoming a member of the CHP in 1932 when the state absorbed the Los Angeles County Squad.
CHP Officer and World War II Veteran Killed in Motorcycle Collision
Wednesday, September 25, 1946
Officer Richard L. Simpson, 30, was responding to the scene of an automobile accident in Porterville when a motorist turned in front of the officer and struck his motorcycle broadside. The impact flung the patrolman to the ground, killed him almost instantly. The driver was jailed and booked for manslaughter. Simpson, a World War II veteran, had recently returned to duty with the department after three years of service in the U.S. Army.
Officer Stephen W. Sodel, 48, was kidnapped and murdered by a motorist he had apparently stopped for suspicion of car theft. Sodel was assigned to check light and brake testing stations and when his patrol car was found abandoned, an intense search ensued which led a few days later to the discovery of Sodel’s body. A suspect was later captured, tried and convicted for the murder of Officer Sodel.
Officer Frank J. Maus, 35, was pursuing a speeder on Stocker Avenue and was rounding a curve when his motorcycle hit the soft shoulder and overturned several times, throwing him to the ground. Maus was a five-year member of the CHP and had just returned to duty after spending three years with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II.
Officer Loren C. Roosevelt was on Los Feliz Boulevard enroute to his home in Glendale when he observed a man behaving suspiciously and called him over to his patrol car. The suspect complied, but suddenly pulled a revolver and shot the patrolman nine times at close range. Although mortally wounded, Roosevelt gave investigating officers a detailed description of the gunman before he died. He had been a patrolman since 1943.
Officer Harold E. Nichols’ motorcycle skidded and crashed when it ran across a slippery area of the road. Nichols was killed instantly. The 42-year-old patrolman had served continuously in Kern County since joining the CHP in 1930. The 15-year CHP veteran held numerous medals for expert marksmanship.
Officer James H. VandeWeg was responding to an emergency call when a truck pulled directly in his path. VandeWeg was unable to stop and his motorcycle crashed into the truck. The 30-year-old officer suffered critical injuries and died just hours later. VandeWeg had previously served with the Redondo Beach Police Department and with the Burbank Police Department until joining the CHP in 1943.
Officer James B. Dalziel was returning from duty on the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge shortly after midnight when a vehicle drove directly in front of his motorcycle. The collision killed the patrolman instantly. Dalziel was a 28-year veteran of law enforcement service that began in 1917 with the San Mateo County Motor Patrol and continued uninterrupted when the county unit merged with the CHP. The 55-year-old patrolman had served on the Bay Bridge since 1941.
Officer Norman A. Kessler was pursuing a traffic violator when his motorcycle developed a high-speed wobble after striking a rough spot in the highway pavement. Kessler lost control and skidded 200 feet before crashing. The 36-year-old patrol officer was killed almost instantly. Kessler had served in Tulare County since graduating from the CHP Academy in 1942.
CHP Officer suffers cerebral hemorrhage while on duty
Sunday, April 8, 1945
Officer Raymond H. Berry, 50, was concluding his shift when he suffered a fatal cerebral hemmorhage. Berry, a 16-year CHP veteran, had previously served with the San Jose City Police Department and had been a member of the Santa Clara County Squad before it was absorbed by the CHP in 1929.
Officer David R. Henderson was killed when his motorcycle collided with an automobile driven by a motorist who pulled into his lane of traffic after deliberately passing a bus that had stopped to load and unload passengers. Henderson, 33, joined the CHP in 1942 after serving two years with the Burbank Police Department. He had also previously served as a Deputy Fish and Game Warden with the County of Los Angeles.
CHP Officer Suffers Heart Attack After Arresting Belligerent Drunk Driver
Wednesday, November 29, 1944
Officer George A. Humburg and a fellow officer were attempting to arrest a drunken driver when the belligerent suspect scuffled with Humburg. After making the arrest, Humburg complained of feeling ill and collapsed while being sped to a hospital. He suffered a heart attack and died before reaching the hospital. Officer Humburg was a 14-year member of the Highway Patrol.
Officer Lewis W. Gregg collided with a vehicle that turned suddenly in front of the motorcycle officer without signaling. Gregg was killed almost instantly. The 40-year-old patrol officer had joined the CHP two years earlier after previously working as a clerk in the traffic court in the city of San Diego.
Officer John A. Reed had activated his red light and siren and begun his pursuit of a speeding automobile when he collided with a vehicle that turned left in front of his motorcycle. Reed was critically injured and died the following day. The 35-year-old patrol officer had joined the CHP in 1941 after prior service as a state police officer in Sacramento.
Officer Forrest C. Gerken was on motorcycle patrol nearing the intersection of Oak Grove Avenue and the Bay Shore Highway when the driver of a pickup truck turned across the corner of an intersection and crashed head-on into the patrolman. Officer Gerken was killed instantly. Gerken had entered the patrol in 1942 and died just two days before his 46th birthday. He served on the Bay Bridge prior to transferring to San Mateo. Officer Forrest Gerken’s son is retired CHP Officer Cliff Gerken (3778).
Officer Nelson S. Dwelly was patrolling with CHP Officer J.C. Glass when Glass saw the wheel of Dwelly’s motorcycle start to wobble and then the motorcycle turned over several times with Dwelly still in the seat. The 37-year-old patrol officer had been a member of the CHP for less than one year.
Sergeant George E. Ellis, Jr. was killed by a reckless driver who ran a stop sign and crashed into the side of Ellis’ patrol unit, striking it with such force that the patrol car was knocked 148 feet and rolled twice from the point of impact. A Sacramento County grand jury indicted the driver on charges of negligent homicide.
Officer Walter C. Maxey was making a left turn off U.S. Highway 6 near Newhall when his motorcycle kickstand dropped, dug into the pavement and sent the motorcycle into a sharp spin. Maxey was thrown violently to the ground and sustained fatal injuries. He had been a member of the CHP for seven years.
Officer Joseph A. Stucker was performing a vital war-time duty escorting a military convoy when his motorcycle was sideswiped by a truck that was attempting to pass. Stucker died at the scene. The 31-year-old patrolman had been a member of the CHP for six years.
Sergeant Emmett L. Elmore, a veteran of 23 years of police and traffic officer service, received his promotion in rank to sergeant less than one year before his death. Elmore, 62, had joined the Stanislaus County Traffic Squad in 1925 and became a CHP officer when the California Highway Patrol absorbed the county units in 1929.
Officer Scott Leatherman was pursuing a speeding motorist on a road near Newhall when the wheel of his motorcycle apparently developed a high-speed wobble, causing Leatherman to lose control and crash. The 29-year-old patrolman was a member of the CHP for only one year.
Officer Robert C. Heller was struck and killed when a motorist failed to stop at an intersection and collided with Heller’s motorcycle. The driver of the vehicle was booked on suspicion of negligent homicide. The 25-year-old patrolman had graduated from the Academy only five months earlier.
Officer Leslie Lauterwasser, 30, was patrolling at midnight near Tiburon on the approach to the Golden Gate Bridge when a vehicle he was following abruptly made a U-turn. Lauterwasser’s motorcycle crashed broadside into the automobile, killing the patrolman instantly. The driver was jailed and charged with drunk driving and negligent homicide.
Officer M. Paul Mengedoth was on routine patrol riding his motorcycle through the tunnel of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge when a vehicle crossed the center divider directly into his path and struck his motorcycle head-on. Officer Mengedoth, 30, was killed instantly.
Officer William F. Malin was returning to his beat – a two-lane highway near Los Angeles – after serving on a CHP motorcycle escort team during a parade celebrating Independence Day, 1940. A speeding motorist cutting through traffic crushed Malin against a walled section of the highway. He had been a member of the Patrol for six years.
Officer Samuel G. Cope was patrolling near the city limits of West Covina when an automobile swung into his line of traffic and crashed head-on into Cope’s motorcycle. Initially his injuries were believed to be non-threatening, but complications developed and he died. Cope was a member of the Los Angeles Police Department before joining the CHP in 1935.
Officer Ernest R. Nelson was patrolling on his motorcycle south of Salinas when a pickup truck made a left turn and crossed the road directly in front of the patrolman. Nelson attempted to swerve and avoid the crash, but skidded directly into the side of the truck and was killed. The driver was arrested for negligent homicide. Nelson, 43, joined the Patrol in 1935 and was previously assigned to the Academy before he transferred to Salinas.
Officer Joseph B. Mathews was called out to break up a fight between two men at a resort outside the city of Napa. After arresting the two suspects and booking them in the country jail, Mathews returned to the CHP office where he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. The 32-year-old patrol officer was a native of Napa and had been a member of the CHP for nine years.
Officer Fred J. Kowolowski was rounding a sharp bend on a rural road in Santa Clara County when his motorcycle collided with an automobile. The 17-year-old driver of the other vehicle said he had turned from a side road and, seeing the motorcycle coming, stopped. The 29-year-old patrol officer died only hours later. Kowolowski was a former deputy sheriff in Modoc County before he joined the Patrol in 1937.
Captain E.L. Shryver was directing traffic on U.S. Highway 101 in Sonoma County when he was struck by a vehicle and thrown under the trailer it was pulling. Shryver, 46, battled his injuries for two months before he succumbed. A veteran motorcycle officer with 13 years experience, he had recently qualified as district inspector and was first on the promotional list. Shryver was also an expert pistol shot and represented the CHP at several national pistol matches.
Officer Leonard Nelson and his partner, Officer L.L. Jordan, were working the graveyard shift in Artesia when they stopped a suspected drunk driver at 2:30 a.m. Nelson was administering the sobriety test to the suspect when a vehicle driven by a second drunk driver crashed into the pair. Both the 30-year-old patrol officer and the driver he had been testing were killed.
Sergeant E.R. “Ed” Carr, 57, was investigating a stalled vehicle on the Golden Gate Highway Pass near Fresno when he was struck and killed by a passing automobile. The 17-year-old driver of the automobile claimed he did not see Carr as he walked toward the stalled vehicle, although investigating officers found a lighted flashlight in the patrolman’s hand. Carr was a 12-year CHP veteran and had just been promoted to the rank of sergeant one day before he was killed.
Sergeant Richard H. Trembath was returning to his home in Berkeley after two weeks of training at the Academy in Sacramento, when his motorcycle collided head-on with an automobile in the middle lane of a three-lane highway near the Carquinez Bridge. Trembath, 34, was killed on what was to have been his last day as a motorcycle officer. He had just been promoted to sergeant and was to have been transferred to patrol car duty the next day.
Officer Earle M. Ames was returning to the CHP Stanislaus office after a special duty assignment in Oakland. Ames was traveling late in the evening through very heavy fog when his motorcycle collided with a city bus. The bus was reportedly almost invisible in the fog because of its newly installed vapor lights. Officer Ames was thrown from his motorcycle and killed.
Officer Charles H. Nissen was pursuing a traffic violator when a vehicle ahead of him slowed for a turn. Nissen applied his brakes to reduce his speed, but his motorcycle struck the rear of the vehicle and skidded. The patrolman was thrown to the pavement and died at the scene.
Officer Ivan Casselman was killed when his patrol motorcycle crashed into the back of a truck near Davis in Yolo County. Witnesses said Casselman was thrown fifteen feet off the roadway after striking the rear of a truck he was attempting to pass. The 33-year-old patrolman died hours later from his injuries. Casselman was a seven-year member of the Yolo County Squad.
Officer Edward L. Bond was patrolling along a levee road in Sacramento County when his motorcycle skidded as he was rounding a curve. Bond lost control and was hurled over the embankment. The 38-year-old patrolman had served with the Patrol four years. Officer Bond’s great-niece, Joan, is married to Sergeant Dan Fugate (10294).
Officer A. Donald Hoover was traveling along the Santa Cruz – Watsonville Highway, on a stretch known to locals as “Slaughterhouse Curve”, when his motorcycle collided with an automobile that pulled out from a side road and turned in front of the patrolman. Hoover, 31, sustained critical injuries and died without regaining consciousness. Officer Hoover was a distant relative of Herbert Hoover, the former President of the United States.
Officer Hugh C. Cline was patrolling at night along the Roosevelt Highway just north of Santa Monica Boulevard when he collided with an automobile. Cline, 43, was thrown from his motorcycle, sustained critical injuries and died the following day.
Officer Francis J. Perry was flung into a tree after both tires of his motorcycle blew while he was patrolling along Fair Oaks Boulevard near the H Street Bridge in Sacramento. The 28-year-old patrol officer had been a member of the CHP for three years.
Officer John A. Daroux was struck by a vehicle that was closely following the patrolman along Auburn Boulevard in Sacramento. Apparently the brakes on Daroux’s motorcycle locked abruptly and the vehicle behind him was unable to slow and avoid striking the motorcycle. The 36-year-old patrolman was rushed to the hospital but died two days later without regaining consciousness. Daroux had served as a sergeant in the army air service in France during World War I.
CHP Officer Killed Following 1933 Long Beach Earthquake
Saturday, March 11, 1933
Officer Ted Davis, 37, was carrying out the emergency assignment of escorting doctors and nurses through rubble-strewn streets following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Davis’ motorcycle struck a hole in the pavement that had been damaged by the quake, throwing him to the ground and killing him instantly.
Officer Stephen S. Kent, 41, was assisting in the pursuit of a suspect sought in three states for bank robbery and kidnapping. Kent stopped the suspect vehicle in Yreka but as he approached, the suspect opened fire, killing the patrolman instantly. The killer was captured, stood trial and was convicted of murder. He was sentenced to death and executed at Folsom Prison in 1936.
Officer Thomas C. Bisset was patrolling on his regular beat in Chico when he suffered a paralyzing stroke. Bissets condition improved and he appeared close to recovery when a second stroke took his life. Bisset was 42 years old and a four-year veteran of the CHP. Prior to joining the Patrol, he had been a peace officer in Gridley.
Officer Floyd A. Russell, 35, was chasing a speeder on Pomona Valley Boulevard when he was struck by an automobile that turned in his path without signaling. Russell was thrown from his motorcycle and died a few hours later. Reckless-driving charges were filed against the motorist.
Officer Albert Edward Hinck, Sr. was patrolling in National City early on a Saturday morning when a motorist made a left-hand turn in front of Hinck’s motorcycle. Officer Hinck was unable to stop and crashed into the automobile. The impact of the collision killed the 30-year-old patrol officer instantly.
Officer Edwin B. Crook was pursuing a speeding motorist late at night through Venice when his motorcycle was struck by an oncoming automobile. Crook was thrown from his motorcycle and killed instantly. He had been a CHP patrolman for only eight days. Officer Crook worked previously as an officer for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in their Hollywood Division before joining the CHP.
CHP Sergeant and World War I Veteran Killed in Collision
Monday, September 21, 1931
Sergeant Burt Reeves was patrolling in heavy Sunday traffic when his motorcycle was forced off a Marin County highway and he was thrown to the ground. Reeves was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries four days later. He had been a patrolman for six years and served as acting commander of the Marin Squad during the absence of the captain. Sergeant Reeves was also a World War I veteran.
Officer Edgar J. Combs was near the end of his shift patrolling at midnight along the Famosa Highway north of Bakersfield, when the front tire of his motorcycle blew out as he was crossing railroad tracks. The motorcycle turned over and the 33-year-old patrolman was hurled 70 feet and killed instantly.
Officer Howard Garlinger, 31, was on the evening shift patrolling in East Bakersfield when a motorist made a turn in front of the patrolman as he was approaching an intersection. Garlinger struck the vehicle broadside and was flung from his motorcycle, sustaining fatal head injuries. The patrolman had previously served four years with the Kern County Traffic Squad prior to the Squad being absorbed into the CHP in 1929.