On December 8, 1995, California Highway Patrol Officer Artie J. Hubbard, 43, succumbed to injuries he sustained during an on-duty collision that occurred over a decade earlier.
On April 5, 1985, Hubbard was on his dinner break when he heard an 11-99 (officer needs help) call on his radio. The officer making the call reported he was involved in a physical altercation with a subject who had been stopped for a traffic violation and was later discovered to be wanted in Oregon.
Hubbard was traveling eastbound on Pocket Road in Sacramento when he failed to negotiate a curve. His CHP Mustang slid off the roadway and struck a utility pole broadside.
The driver’s door took the full impact of the violent collision. Hubbard suffered extensive injuries, including a severed spinal column.
Other units responding to the same call heard a citizen come on the radio and say, “Mayday, mayday.” When the dispatcher asked this person to identify himself, the citizen reported that there had been a bad wreck involving a CHP car, adding that the officer was “in bad shape.” He then provided the location of the accident.
With a helicopter already en route to the 11-99 location, the dispatcher diverted it to Hubbard’s location and then directed the citizen at the scene to turn on the CHP unit’s spotlight and direct it upward so the chopper could locate the wreck. By the time the helicopter landed, another CHP officer was providing emergency lifesaving care to Hubbard, who was then flown to the hospital.
Hubbard was placed on life support and survived. For more than ten years, he was cared for in his parents’ home in Manteca. He could communicate only through eye movements.
Several weeks before his death, Hubbard underwent routine surgery to mitigate deterioration in his condition, but the procedure was unsuccessful. Hubbard entered the CHP Academy in January 1975 and reported to the Central Los Angeles CHP office in May of the same year. In March 1983 he voluntarily transferred to the South Sacramento CHP office.
Hubbard is survived by his mother, Helen Hubbard; a sister, Roseada Beggs; and a brother, Michael Hubbard.
Donations in Hubbard’s memory may be made to the CAHP Widows and Orphans Trust Fund, P.O. Box 161209, Sacramento, CA 95816-1209.