CHP Home page

Badges of Honor 2000 - 2009

Officer David Irwin
South Los Angeles
September 18, 2000

Officer David Irwin had completed his “Noon Motors” shift in the Firestone Park District in 1985 and was en route to the South Los Angeles Area office for debriefing. While riding his departmental motorcycle westbound on Manchester Avenue nearing the intersection of Broadway, Irwin was forced into a hard braking sequence that resulted in him losing control of the motorcycle. Irwin and the motorcycle slid into the intersection where he was struck by a northbound vehicle. Irwin sustained extensive injuries and lived out the remaining portion of his life as a paraplegic. Irwin died on September 18, 2000. At the time of the collision, Irwin was a 14-year veteran of the CHP, all of which were served in the South Los Angeles Area office.

He is survived by his mother, Martha; brothers, Kenneth and John; and daughter, Rebecca.

Officer Sean Nava
October 28, 2000

Officer Sean Nava was hit and killed by a drunk driver while investigating an earlier collision on Interstate 5 near Carlsbad in San Diego County. He was taking measurements in the center divider when the suspect vehicle, traveling approximately 75 mph, struck him, causing fatal injuries. The suspect was actually using the paved center median to pass another vehicle traveling in the fast lane, when his vehicle struck Officer Nava. Officer Nava was 33 years old and an 11-year veteran of the CHP. The driver fled the scene but was apprehended a short time later by Carlsbad Police Department. He was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Sergeant Gary R. Wagers
March 15, 2001

Sergeant Gary Wagers was traveling northbound on State Route 113 near Woodland, and was engaged in an enforcement activity. His vehicle skidded sharply across two lanes, striking a guardrail. Wagers was killed upon impact. A commuter discovered the crash at approximately 6:00 a.m. Sergeant Wagers had been a member of the Patrol for 22 years, and was 54 years of age. He was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.

Officer Stephen M. Linen
August 12, 2001

Officer Stephen Linen was on Interstate 5 north of Leucadia Boulevard in the City of Encinitas conducting an enforcement stop. As he stood near the right side of the patrol car, the suspect vehicle drove onto the shoulder, struck the right rear of the patrol car and pushed it into the pickup truck. The impact caused the patrol car to enter the lanes of traffic and burst into flames. When the patrol car spun out of the way, the right front fender of the suspect vehicle hit Linen while traveling at a very high rate of speed, and launched him 15-20 feet up onto the embankment. Several witnesses arrived and began CPR efforts at the collision scene. Linen was airlifted to Scripps La Jolla Hospital and was subsequently pronounced dead at 0701. The 31-year-old died of massive skull fractures. The driver, a 20-year-old lance corporal stationed at Camp Pendleton, was allegedly returning from a night of drinking in Tijuana. He was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Officer John Pedro
Santa Cruz
June 3, 2002

On June 3 at approximately 6:59 a.m., Officer John Pedro was patrolling in the southern end of Santa Cruz County in a specially-marked patrol vehicle, working commercial enforcement. Officer Pedro had turned in the center median to northbound State Route 1 and was traveling at a yet to be determined speed with his emergency lights activated. For unknown reasons, he lost control of his vehicle while negotiating the northbound off-ramp to eastbound State Route 129. The car hit a large tree broadside, shearing it off and overturning the car. The impact killed the officer instantly. Preliminary reports indicate Officer Pedro was attempting to overtake and conduct an enforcement action on a vehicle that had exited the off-ramp. At the time of his death, he was 36 years old and had been a CHP officer for 12 years.

Officer Shannon Distel
August 27, 2003

Officer Shannon Distel died in the line of duty while patrolling on his motorcycle in Riverside. A pick-up truck pulling a trailer turned in front of Distel's motorcycle. The vehicles collided and Distel was ejected. He landed in a patch of grass 50 yards from the collision. The driver of the other vehicle was subsequently arrested.

Officer Robert Coulter
Trinity River
November 2, 2003

Officer Robert Coulter died when the shotgun in his patrol car accidentially fired. Coulter worked in the Trinity River Area and was found in the officer's rear parking lot by off-duty Officer Scott Friar (13878), who had come to pick up his vehicle.

Officer Dean Beattie
San Diego
November 19, 2003

Officer Dean Beattie was involved in a fatal traffic collision November 19 at approximately 12:55 p.m. while riding his departmental BMW motorcycle northbound on State Route 163. His motorcycle's rear strobe lights were activated as he traveled in the #4 lane. An ambulance suddenly swerved left to avoid a slow-moving bobtail truck. Beattie took evasive action but was unable to avoid the truck. The motorcycle struck the truck near the right rear wheel well. The impact spun the motorcycle, throwing Beattie to the pavement, where he struck his head. He sustained major head injuries, was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he died. He was 46 years old.

He is survived by his wife Rosalba, children Farrah, Brett, Amanda, Tawny and step daughters Analise and Cindy, and his parents Leonard and Marlene.

Officer Paul Pino
December 30, 2003

Officer Paul Pino was killed after an out-of-control sports utility vehicle slammed into his patrol car. Pino had stopped a big rig and was sitting in the front seat of the patrol car writing the citation when the SUV hit his car at a high rate of speed. The impact pushed the patrol car under the flatbed truck while the SUV spun across Highway 395. The 20-year-old female driver of the SUV was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter. She admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages and marijuana the night before and until 2 a.m. the morning of December 30. She slept for two hours, got up and began driving to Tahoe when she crashed into Pino's patrol car. Pino was 49 and had been a member of the Patrol for 22 years.

Officer Thomas J. Steiner
Santa Fe Springs
April 21, 2004

Officer Thomas J. Steiner was gunned down in front of a Pomona courthouse. 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. The killer then got back into his vehicle and sped away. Steiner was struck twice in the chest and once in the head. He was transported to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center where he died several hours later from the gunshot wound to the head. The suspected killer, a 16-year-old gang member, was apprehended by the Pomona Police Department the next morning. He said he wanted to kill a cop and was bragging about the killing when he was taken into custody. Steiner was 35 years old. During his cadet training, he was the outstanding marksman in his class. He graduated from the CHP Academy April 23, 1999 and had been assigned to the Santa Fe Springs Area since graduation.

Officer James M. Goodman
San Bernardino
June 3 , 2004

Officer James M. Goodman (11144), San Bernardino Area, passed away June 3, 2004, at approximately 1258 hours, at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Officer Goodman was responding on his motorcycle to the Redlands Department of Motor Vehicles building to investigate a hit and run traffic collision. Upon his arrival, he gave chase behind the suspected hit and run driver when another vehicle pulled out and hit him.

Officer Goodman received the prestigious Governor's Medal of Valor Award in 1991 for his heroic efforts during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. During this incident, he disregarded his personal safety in order to rescue victims trapped on Interstate 880, also known as the Cypress Freeway overpass. Goodman crawled between a two-foot opening of the collapsed freeway decks in order to gain access to a victim who was trapped inside a truck that had been crushed to a height of approx. two feet. He tore out the stuffing from the driver's seat and cut the seat springs in attempts to free the victim. Others joined him and worked for approximately three hours in this courageous effort. Firefighters eventually replaced them and removed the victim using "Jaws of Life" of equipment.

Officer Goodman was 48 at the time of his death and had been a member of the department for 20 years.

Officer David M. Romero
Santa Fe Springs
September 23, 2005

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.

Officer Romero was struck from the rear and ejected. Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and provided treatment. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Air Rescue 5 was immediately dispatched and airlifted Officer Romero to Los Angeles County/U.S.C. Medical Center where he succumbed from injuries.

Officer Romero, age 47, was a 23 year veteran of the department. He was assigned to the Santa Fe Springs/Walnut sub-station. He is survived by his wife Sandra, three children, Austin, Windsor, and David, ages 20, 17, 8 and two stepchildren, Victor and Vanessa, ages 17

Officer Andrew Stevens
November 17, 2005

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.

Officer Stevens is survived by his wife.

Officer Erick Manny
Fort Tejon Area
December 21, 2005

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.

Lieutenant Michael Walker
Santa Cruz Area
December 31, 2005

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.

Officer Earl Scott
February 17, 2006

Officer Earl Scott made a traffic stop on SR-99 in Ripon, CA. During the traffic stop, Officer Scott was shot and killed. The suspect subsequently fled the scene.

Officer Gregory Bailey
Rancho Cucamonga
February 25, 2006

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.

Officer Bailey had served with the California Highway Patrol for 10 years and was assigned to the Rancho Cucamonga office. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons, and parents.

Officer Brent William Clearman
August 6,2006

On August 5, 2006, at 2235 hours, Oakland Area Officer Clearman, 17843, was struck by a hit-and-run driver while investigating a traffic collision. On August 6, 2006, Officer Clearman succumbed to his injuries. Officer Clearman is survived by his wife.

Officer Robert F. Dickey
Winterhaven Area
June 10, 2007

Officer Dickey was killed in an automobile accident on I-8 while on patrol in the Winterhaven Area. It is believed that a tire on his patrol car blew out, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The patrol car left the roadway and flipped several times.

He was flown to Yuma Regional Medical Center, in Arizona, where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.

Officer Dickey had served with the California Highway Patrol for 5 years.

He is survived by his wife and 1-year-old son.

Officer Douglas S. Russell
July 31, 2007

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.

Officer John Miller
November 16, 2007

Officer John Miller was killed in an automobile accident while searching for a reported drunk driver.

The officer was driving south on North Livermore Avenue about a mile north of Interstate 580 when he lost control of his patrol car around a sharp curve and struck a tree.

Officers from the Livermore Police Department located the drunken driving suspect, on eastbound I-580 near Greenville Road, and he was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of DUI, evading police, and driving without a license.

Officer Miller had served with the California Highway Patrol for one year and was assigned to the Dublin Area Office.

He is survived by his wife and two children.

Officer Joseph Sanders
Santa Fe Springs
December 15, 2008

On December 15, 2008, at 0420 hours, Santa Fe Springs Area Officer Sanders, #18781, was directing traffic at a prior traffic accident on eastbound SR-60 west of Azusa Avenue in the city of Hacienda Heights. A subsequent collision between two vehicles caused one of the vehicles to veer out of control and strike Officer Sanders causing major injuries. Officer Sanders was airlifted to USC Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries on December 15, 2008, at 0525 hours.

He is survived by his pregnant wife, two sons, one daughter, one step-son and his parents.

Officer Jarrod Martinez
Santa Barbara
October 29, 2009

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.


Previous      NEXT