All Our Fallen Heroes
Officer William R. Court was in pursuit of a traffic violator when his patrol unit skidded on a rain-slicked pavement and he lost control. Courts patrol car left
the roadway, turned at an angle and traveled over 175 feet before striking a cement bridge abutment. The 33-year-old patrolman was killed almost instantly. Court
had been a member of the CHP since 1965 and served previously in the San Leandro Area office before transferring to Modesto in 1967. When Officer Court died, a
feature article appeared in the Turlock Daily Journal which is excerpted below:
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 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.
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, Sheila, Dan, Phil, and Ken.
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.
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 Dana E. Paladini and a sheriffs 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 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 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 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 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 officers 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 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 Sniffen is survived by his wife Anna, daughter Kayla son William and brothers Darrell and Doug.
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.
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 Gerald N. Harris was directing traffic at an intersection in Bakersfield when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. The impact of the collision threw Harris onto the cars hood and shattered the vehicles windshield. A passenger riding in the front seat pushed Harris back through the windshield, off the hood and flung him to the pavement before fleeing the scene. The 36-year-old patrol officer sustained a broken leg and other injuries, and his condition did not appear life-threatening. He subsequently required special medical treatment and the president of Continental Telephone in Bakersfield volunteered his companys private jet to fly Officer Harris to specialists in San Francisco, but Harris died from an embolism. Officer Harris was a seven-year member of the Patrol. The hit-and-run driver was apprehended and served 12 months in the county jail.
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.
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.
State Police Officer David A. Jack was assigned to patrol the Los Angeles Dispatch Center and was on the first watch when his body was discovered in an office doorway. Jacks service revolver was still in his holster and he had apparently been ambushed by a gunman who shot the State Police officer once in the temple. Officer Jack was rushed to the hospital, but died just hours later. The 21-year-old State Police officer has been appointed to the State Police service only seven months earlier. The killer was later apprehended and charged with the murder of Officer Jack.
Officer F. W. Enright
Officer A. M. Hernandez
San Jose - June 27, 1975
Officers Frederick W. Enright and Adolfo M. Hernandez were patrolling in the CHP helicopter at 2:45 p.m. when it crashed and burned in the Fremont area east of Highway 17. Enright, the 31-year-old pilot, and Hernandez, the 35-year-old observer, were both killed instantly. Witnesses said the helicopter went into a steep dive, and when approximately 50 to 75 feet off the ground, flipped over and then crashed. Investigation into the cause of the accident determined there was a mechanical failure in the controls that affected the pilots ability to control the horizontal attitude of the aircraft. Officer Enright was a member of the Patrol for four years and Officer Hernandez was a member for five years.
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 Alfred R. Turner was patrolling on Interstate 5 near Los Banos when he stopped a vehicle at 10 p.m. because the motorist was driving with a burned-out headlight. Turner was unaware that the car had just been stolen in San Leandro. As the officer stepped out of his patrol car, the motorist exited his vehicle and they began walking toward each other when the motorist suddenly pulled a .357 magnum revolver and opened fire. Turner was hit with three bullets, but returned fire and hit his assailant with five shots. Although critically wounded, the officer managed to return to his patrol car and radio for help. Officer Turner, 35, succumbed to his wounds 12 days later. Officer Turner was a seven-year member of the CHP. His killer recovered from his wounds and was charged with murder.
Officer Gary L. Hughes and his partner Officer Lancer R. Thelen stopped and arrested a suspected drunk driver along Interstate 80 in Vallejo. Hughes was sitting in the rear of the patrol car with the suspect when a pick-up truck camper plowed into the patrol car, pinning Hughes against the front seat and causing massive head injuries. The 38-year-old Patrol officer died enroute to the hospital and the prisoner received minor injuries. Thelen was near the front of the patrol car with a tow truck operator, completing paperwork for impounding the suspects vehicle when they were struck by the patrol car as it was rammed by the truck camper. Thelen suffered a severe leg injury and the tow truck operator later died from internal injuries. The driver of the truck camper was found guilty of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Hughes was an 11-year veteran of the Patrol.
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 Arthur E. Dunn had radioed Redding Dispatch that he was bringing in a prisoner he had arrested for drunk driving. When Dunn failed to arrive an hour later or respond to radio contact, his beat partner started a search. Dunns patrol car was discovered over an embankment where it had plunged after the prisoner shot the officer with a small caliber handgun he had concealed. Dunns killer escaped by kicking out the patrol cars rear window but was captured nearby. Officer Dunn, 43, was a 14-year CHP veteran and had been assigned to the Burney Resident Post for 10 years
Officer George W. Redding responded to an accident call where a vehicle had crashed into a telephone pole. Redding had gotten out of his patrol car when a passing vehicle struck the downed telephone support cable, causing it to snap and whip across the road. The flying cable struck the patrol officer, wrapped around his ankles and hurled him into the air before throwing him to the ground. Officer Redding, 43, sustained critical injuries and died four days later. His son is Officer Mark W. Redding (11705).
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 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 Harold E. Horine
Officer W. F. Leiphardt, Jr.
Baldwin Park - May 13, 1978
Officers Harold E. Horine and William F. Leiphardt, Jr., both 39 years old, were partners working out of the Baldwin Park Area office. Horine and Leiphardt were investigating a roadside crash involving an abandoned vehicle when a passing tractor and trailer swerved onto the shoulder, smashed into the abandoned car, and rammed it into the patrol officers. Horine and Leiphardt were both killed instantly. Officer Horine had been a member of the Patrol for 10 years, and Office Leiphardt had 12 years of service with the CHP. The truck driver was charged with felony drunk driving and manslaughter.
Officer Gayle W. Wood
Officer James E. McCabe
Southern Division - September 1, 1978
Officers Gayle W. Wood and James E. McCabe were on air-traffic patrol, making their last run before quitting at dusk when their CHP helicopter crashed and burned near Castaic Lake on Interstate 5. The helicopter struck a power line support that apparently was not visible in the approaching darkness. Officer Wood, the 41-year-old pilot, was a 10-year veteran of the Patrol and had been a CHP pilot for five years. Officer McCabe, the 34-year-old observer, had been a member of the Patrol for seven years and a helicopter observer for six months.
Officer Roy P. Blecher
Officer William M. Freeman
Woodland - December 22, 1978
Officers Roy P. Blecher and William M. Freeman were partners, working out of the Woodland Area Office, when they were gunned down along Interstate 80 near the Yolo Causeway in West Sacramento. Investigators found signs of a struggle. Blecher was handcuffed and shot in the back of the head and Freeman had been overpowered, shot and killed. Their last radio contact was at 3:12 a.m. when they stopped a suspect for a routine traffic violation. The killer was captured, tried and convicted of the murders and is currently serving a life sentence. Officer Blecher, 50, was a 21-year CHP veteran and Officer Freeman, 32, was a 12-year Patrol veteran.
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