Honor Roll

Dean J. Esquibel

Officer Dean J. Esquibel was providing back-up in the high-speed pursuit of a fleeing motorcycle on State Route 198 near 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 flames. 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. Officer 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.