Santa Cruz, CA…On the evening of August 30, 1934, CHP Officer Albert Donald Hoover was traveling home on his departmental motorcycle. Officer Hoover was driving toward the city of Santa Cruz on what was known as the Santa Cruz-Watsonville Highway near Slaughterhouse Curve (now Soquel Drive near Mission Drive). A truck made a left turn into Officer Hoover’s path. Officer Hoover collided with the truck and he was thrown from his motorcycle. As a result of the collision Hoover suffered major injuries and never regained consciousness. Officer Hoover died in the early morning hours of August 31, 1934. In his sacrifice, a family lost its husband, father and son. The CHP lost a dedicated officer and the People of California lost a hero.
In memoriam of this tragic event, the California State Assembly resolved to designate a portion of State Route 1, in the County of Santa Cruz as the “CHP Officer A. Donald Hoover Memorial Freeway.” The dedicated portion of roadway will be between Branciforte Drive and Park Avenue.
On Wednesday, August 21, 2013, just over a week before the 79th anniversary of Officer Hoover’s death, the Santa Cruz Area CHP Office will host a memorial freeway dedication to honor CHP Officer Hoover and his family. The ceremony will be held at the Santa Cruz CHP Area Office starting at 10:00 AM. The ceremony will include an invocation and benediction, bagpipes, a flag ceremony and remarks by CHP Deputy Commissioner Ramona Prieto, Coastal Division Chief Reginald Chappelle and Santa Cruz Area Commander Captain Paul Vincent. The flag in front of the office will fly at half-staff. The CHP business office will be closed from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM the duration of the ceremony, however, patrol coverage will not be affected.
Since its inception in 1929, the CHP has lost 222 uniformed members in line-of-duty deaths. Officer Hoover’s sacrifice was the first of three such sacrifices made by uniformed members of the California Highway Patrol assigned to Santa Cruz County.
A. Donald Hoover, a relative of President Hoover, moved to Santa Cruz with his parents at the age of 17. Hoover worked for the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department and the Santa Cruz Police Department for a number of years. In 1929, Hoover accepted a position with the California Highway Patrol.
Officer Hoover’s death came as a shock to the people of Santa Cruz and the resulting out pouring of love from the community was enormous. Local newspapers reported Hoover would be warmly remembered for his courteous, caring and loving treatment of motorists. He was lauded for handling tense situations with skill and tact and was called “One of the most popular of the motor patrol.”
Local residents wishing to make a gesture in memory of Officer Hoover’s sacrifice are requested to drive safely and remember the sacrifices officer and their families have made to keep this community safe.
Members of the media are welcome to attend.
WHAT: Freeway Dedication Ceremony for CHP Officer A. Donald Hoover
WHERE: Santa Cruz Area CHP Office, 10395 Soquel Drive in Aptos.
WHEN: Ceremony to start at 1000 hours. A reception and refreshments will follow.
We will never forget Officer Albert Donald Hoover.