Santa Cruz, CA…On December 31, 2005 at 10:12 pm, California Highway Patrol Lieutenant Michael Walker stopped to assist a stranded motorist on southbound Highway 17 near Glenwood Drive, and was soon joined by a Cal-Trans employee assisting him. A 31 year old Boulder Creek man driving a 2000 Audi lost control of his vehicle, striking first the center divide wall, then the parked Cal-Trans truck and parked CHP patrol car. The tragic collision resulted in the death of Lieutenant Walker, the death of the Audi driver, and severe injuries to the Cal-Trans employee.
On December 31, in memory of Lieutenant Walker, the CHP Office in Aptos will fly the flag at half-mast. In addition, CHP Officers in Santa Cruz County will wear the Tribute of Mourning Ribbon, a black band worn across the officer’s badge as a tribute to a fallen hero.
Since its inception in 1929, the CHP has lost 223 uniformed members in line-of-duty deaths. Lieutenant Walker’s sacrifice was one of three such sacrifices made by CHP Officers assigned to Santa Cruz County.
Lieutenant Walker was beloved by all with whom he served, and cherished by his wife and children. In his sacrifice, a family lost a husband, father, son and brother; the CHP lost a leader and role model, and the people of California lost a hero.
Local residents wishing to make a gesture in memory of Lieutenant Walker’s sacrifice are requested to drive while sober, at a safe speed, and to “move over” when possible to ensure the safety of emergency workers and Cal-Trans Employees on our highways.
We will never forget Lieutenant Walker.