All Our Fallen Heroes
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 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 Gerald E. Dormaier and his partner, Officer Jerry M. Bean, were working Christmas Day on a foggy stretch of U.S. Highway 99 south of Bakersfield when they arrived at the scene of an overturned propane truck. Dormaier was standing on the center divider and Bean was laying flares when a tanker truck came out of the fog at a high rate of speed, braked and jackknifed near the center divider, striking Dormaier and the patrol car. The 42-year-old patrol officer was killed instantly. Dormaier, a 14-year CHP veteran, had served in Anaheim, Tejon, Truckee, Buellton and Bakersfield Areas.
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 James J. Schumacher, Jr. stopped and cited a speeding car on State Route 99 and was obtaining the driver's signature when a passing car drifted toward the shoulder, sideswiped the parked car, and struck Schumacher. The officer was dragged more than 100 feet before being thrown free. He died instantly. The elderly driver who hit Schumacher apparently fell asleep, and was charged with manslaughter. Schumacher, 33, was a 12-year CHP veteran, and had served in the South Los Angeles and Westminster areas before transferring to Merced in 1980. In a tragic footnote to the crash, Schumacher's badge, ripped from his shirt, had been taken by a souvenir hunter. A facsimile badge (7164) had to be produced for the Schumacher family. On June 13, 2002, that portion of SR 99 was named the "CHP Officer James J. Schumacher Memorial Highway." His son, Andrew Schumacher, (15732), is a CHP officer in Merced and works the same beat his father once did.
Officer Johnny R. Martinez and his partner Officer James Szabo were clearing debris obstructing the San Bernardino Freeway in East Los Angeles when a vehicle pulled alongside the two officers and the three occupants opened fire at point-blank range. Martinez, 33, was fatally wounded and died the next day. Szabo, 27, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, received a neck wound and recovered. An intense manhunt ensued for the killers. One of the suspects and a companion later were later killed in a shoot-out in Salt Lake City. Officer Martinez was a four-year member of the CHP.
Officer George R. Carey
Officer Kenneth L. Archer
Barstow - February 24, 1982
Officers George R. Carey and Kenneth L. Archer were killed when their air operations helicopter crashed during a search mission in the Harper Lake area west of Barstow. Carey, the 47-year-old pilot, was a 17-year CHP veteran with previous service in Indio and Visalia before becoming a helicopter pilot in 1981. Archer, the 42-year-old observer, had served 13 years with the Patrol and had been assigned to the South Los Angeles Area before transferring to Barstow in 1970. Officer Bruce Golbek (11780), is the nephew of Officer Carey.
Officer Dale E. Newby, 36, was, shot and killed by a motorist he had pulled over for speeding and erratic driving along Interstate 5 north of Stockton. Newby scuffled with the motorist, an ex-mental patient, who opened fire with a .357 magnum handgun, shooting Newby in the hand, then twice in the back as the officer retreated toward his patrol car. The tragedy multiplied when the gunman took a hostage, whom he subsequently shot and killed, before taking his own life. Newby, 36, was a 15-year CHP veteran and had served in the Baldwin Park and Contra Costa Areas before transferring to Stockton in 1972.
Officer David W. Copleman was killed during the pursuit of a speeding motorcyclist on State Route 126 in east Ventura County. Copleman initiated the pursuit of a speeding motorcycle and was joined by two Ventura sheriff's deputies and a Fillmore P.D. unit. All four law enforcement units had lights and sirens activated when an oncoming van swerved into opposing traffic lanes to avoid rear-ending another vehicle and struck the CHP unit head-on. Copleman, 27, died at the scene and the van occupants sustained major injuries. The speeding motorcyclist was stopped and arrested by Fillmore police on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing injury.
Officer Raymond E. Miller was standing with a truck driver he was citing for illegally parking on the shoulder of Interstate 5 near Bakersfield when a truck-tractor drifted onto the shoulder and crashed into the patrol unit. The impact of the collision rammed the patrol car into the two men, crushing their legs. The truck then continued across all traffic lanes into the center divider where it overturned. Although he had sustained severe leg injuries, Miller directed traffic and emergency operations as he lay on the ground. Three weeks after the accident, Officer Miller died of a massive pulmonary embolism while waiting for surgery on his injured legs. He was 41 years old and a 16-year CHP veteran.
Officer Dean J. Esquibel was providing back-up in the high-speed pursuit of a fleeing motorcycle on State Route 198 neat the Kings-Tulare County line. The two units were passing a truck when a driver ahead of the truck braked and a passenger car slowed and began to skid sideways. The truck then swerved left to avoid hitting the skidding car, forcing the two officers to swerve. Both patrol units spun out of control and Esquibel's patrol car veered into a parked Caltrans road grader and burst into flame. The impact of the collision pinned the officer inside the burning vehicle. A passing truck driver extinguished the flames and CHP Officer Greg De La Cruz, who was himself injured, pulled Esquibel from the wreckage. Office Esquibel, who was 23 years old and a member of the CHP for just one year, died two weeks later. The motorcyclist was captured and charged with felony hit-and-run driving, resisting arrest, evading a police officer and driving with a suspended license.
On December 27, 1985, Officer David D. Irwin had completed his Noon Motors shift in the Firestone Park District and was enroute to the South Los Angeles Area office for debriefing. While riding his departmental motorcycle westbound on Manchester Avenue nearing the intersection of Broadway, Officer Irwin was forced into a hard braking sequence that resulted in him losing control of the motorcycle. Officer Irwin and the motorcycle slid into the intersection where he was struck by a northbound vehicle. Officer Irwin sustained extensive injuries and lived out the remaining portion of his life as a paraplegic. Officer Irwin died on September 18, 2000. At the time of the collision, Officer Irwin was a 14-year veteran of the CHP, all of which were served in the South Los Angeles Area office.
Officer George F. Butler, 52, was flying as an observer in a CHP helicopter that was taking aerial photographs of a double traffic fatality on Interstate 80 near Dixon. After finishing the photographs, the helicopter set down a short distance from the accident scene in an open field adjacent to an irrigation canal. Butler exited the left side of the aircraft and proceeded to walk up the edge of the canal's raised berm when he was struck by the helicopter's main rotor and was hurled into the empty irrigation canal. The 21-year veteran of the CHP was killed instantly.
Officer Michael A. Brandt was pursuing a suspected drunk driver on U.S. Highway 74, a winding mountain road near Palm Desert, when he lost control on a sharp curve, skidded over a 15-foot embankment, overturned and landed upside down. Brandt was found strapped in the driver's seat but died just hours later from his injuries. The 35-year-old patrol officer had been a member of the CHP for eight years. The vehicle Brandt had pursued was located 150 feet down the side of the mountain, wrecked and in flames but the driver and two small children had been ejected and survived. The driver was subsequently charged with felony DUI, felony manslaughter and child endangerment.
Officer Terry W. Autrey and his partner, Officer Michael Price, has completed the initial investigation of a non-injury accident and were returning to their patrol car which had been parked in the center divider. As Autrey approached the passenger side, a vehicle sideswiped the patrol car, killing him instantly and knocking Price into the center divider's guard rail where he sustained severe back injuries. Officer Autrey, 28, had just reported to his first assignment on September 2 after graduating from the Academy one month earlier.
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.
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 Hugo Olazar and his partner, Officer Javier Rocha, had just pulled onto the shoulder of Interstate 280 to investigate a solo-vehicle collision when their patrol car was rammed by a pickup traveling at a high rate of speed. The impact caused the body of the patrol car to buckle, jamming the doors shut. The patrol car then burst into flames, trapping both officers inside. Officer Javier Rocha was able to escape the burning vehicle by shooting out a side window and tried to pull his unconscious partner out, but his efforts were unsuccessful because of the intense flames. Rocha then went to the burning pickup and pulled its three occupants to safety, suffering second- and third-degree burns. The pickup driver was charged with felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter and driving on a suspended license. Officer Olazar, 35, had been a member of the CHP for seven years.
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