On September 22, 1917, at approximately 1900 hours, an intoxicated hit-and-run driver struck a buggy carrying a woman and her children on the south end of Fresno. The driver of a motor stage transporting passengers from Fresno to Selma followed the suspect and obtained his license plate number. The stage driver then passed the suspect and drove to the home of Fowler Constable A.B.Chamness to report the incident. Constable Chamness boarded the stage, which returned to the state highway in time to observe the suspect vehicle southbound. The stage passed the suspect vehicle again and approximately a mile south of Fowler, Constable Chamness alighted to flag down and arrest the suspect. The suspect vehicle failed to stop and ran over Constable Chamness, inflicting fatal injuries from which the Constable died within the hour. Sheriff Horace Thorwaldson arrested the suspect, a Parlier farmer, later that evening.
Constable Chamness, a native of Texas, had been the Constable of Fowler since 1910. He had previously served as a police officer in Midland, Texas, as a Texas Ranger, and as the Fowler City Marshal.
Constable Chamness was survived by his wife, Hattie, five daughters and two sons. Funeral services were held on September 27th at the Fowler Baptist Church and he was buried at Fowler Cemetery.