All Our Fallen Heroes
Officer Richard D. Duvall's last radio message was, "I'm chasing a fast one." Duvall did not know that the motorist on U.S. Highway 66 outside Victorville was an escaped felon driving a stolen car and wanted for armed robbery. As soon as the vehicle was pulled over, the ex-convict opened fire, killing the 26-year-old patrolman. Duvall had served less than two years with the Patrol. His death was instrumental in CHP Commissioner Bard Crittenden's decision to require that officers pair up on the graveyard shift and parts of the evening shift.
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 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 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 Jerry E. Turre was investigating an accident scene near Fresno at 2 a.m. and was laying flares when he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver. The accident occurred on a clear night and the flares were visible for 1/4 mile at the time of the accident, leading investigators to conclude that the hit-and-run driver was also under the influence. The 30-year-old patrolman had been a member of the Patrol for six years. Prior to joining the CHP, Turre served with the Yreka Police Department and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Officer Dale M. Krings and his partner, Officer Vincent Bianchini, were near the end of their graveyard shift and having breakfast at a restaurant next to San Francisco International Airport, when a restaurant patron confronted the officers, saying, "Okay, gentlemen, you've had it!" Without further warning he drew a rifle and opened fire, striking Officer Krings. Although mortally wounded, Krings returned fire and killed the gunman. Investigation revealed the assailant, a former mental patient, was a regular customer at the coffee shop and had been overheard on several occasions to say, "I hate cops!" Krings, 34, had been a member of the Patrol for six years.
Officer Ronald E. Davis was attempting to pass two vehicles as he was responding to an accident call on U.S. Highway 91 east of Barstow. One of the drivers, apparently unaware of the siren or red light, pulled out in front of the patrol car. Davis turned to avoid a collision but went into a broadside skid, rolling the patrol car several times. A passing motorist found the 28-year-old patrolman still strapped in his seat, but he had died instantly. Barstow was Officer Davis' first assignment since graduating from the Academy less than a year earlier.
Officer Charles H. Sorenson had just received a radio call about a robbery in Lodi when he spotted the suspect vehicle, whipped his patrol car into a U-turn and began pursuit. During the chase, the suspect driver lost control of his vehicle, crashed and continued to flee on foot. Sorenson got out of his car and followed the suspect. Apparently he was unaware of the second suspect with a stolen handgun who ambushed the 32-year-old patrolman, killing him with two shots fired at point blank range. Next, the pair commandeered the officer's patrol car, roared down the highway at speeds close to 130 MPH and were stopped only when they rammed a police barricade, killing a sheriff's deputy. The felons, two juveniles, were captured and charged in the deaths of the two law enforcement officers.
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 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 Glenn W. Carlson, on duty in a chain-control area of the Sierras, stopped a vehicle with three male occupants on a speeding charge. A license check proved negative, but just a few minutes after the vehicle drove off, information was radioed that the car was stolen. Carlson pursued the suspects and stopped the car again. One of the suspects opened fire, killing the 33-year-old patrolman with five shots. One of the bullets pierced the citation he had just written to the suspects. The three ex-convicts were later captured and indicted for the murder of Officer Glenn Carlson.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 Merrel L. Kissinger was transporting a prisoner he arrested for suspicion of drunk driving near Carlsbad on U.S. Highway 101. Kissinger was enroute to the San Diego County Jail when his prisoner opened fire through the wire mesh divider that confined him, and killed the 39-year-old officer while he drove the patrol car. Kissinger died from three shots fired from a small .25 caliber handgun the prisoner managed to conceal when searched by another officer. The killer was captured when he failed to break out of the patrol car after it skidded to a stop. Officer Kissinger, a 14-year veteran of the CHP, was on the promotional list for sergeant at the time of his death.
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.
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 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 Franke A. Story and his partner, Officer Ernest H. Goff, were on the graveyard shift patrolling along U.S. Highway 86 north of Imperial when they stopped a truck-tractor rig for a routine registration check. While Goff radioed, Story stayed with the driver, who maneuvered himself into a position where he could grab Goff's handgun, and opened fire. Story, 25, was killed instantly. Goff, 44, was wounded but struggled with the suspect and was able to overpower and arrest the killer. The assailant, who had been driving a stolen rig, was charged with murder and attempted murder. Officer Story was the nephew of retired Lt. David R. Story (1222).
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 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 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 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 a 11-year veteran of the CHP and had served in the Merced Area office for 10 years before transferring to Sonora.
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 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 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.
|Memorial Page 1950-1959||Memorial Homepage||Memorial Page 1970-1979|