Noreen A. Vargas
Line of Duty
First Female CHP Officer Killed in the Line of Duty
Friday, November 8, 1996
Officer Noreen A. Vargas was driving along the San Bernardino Freeway on her way to conduct a felony investigation when an oncoming tractor-trailer rig lost its trailer’s right dual tires, which bounced across the freeway lanes into the center divider. One of the tires struck the divider and careened 30 feet into the air and landed on Officer Vargas’ vehicle. The impact crushed the vehicle’s roof and killed Vargas instantly. The 37-year-old patrol officer was a member of the CHP for eight years. Officer Noreen Vargas is the first female officer killed in the line of duty since the CHP began including women in its ranks in 1974.