Officer Frank M. Epperson was attempting to overtake two speeding vehicles and was about to pass a pick-up when the truck started a left turn in front of the patrol car. Epperson tried to avoid a collision, but the two vehicles collided, and the patrol car rolled several times before striking a power pole and slamming into irrigation equipment. The 40-year-old patrolman was ejected and died at the scene. Epperson had joined the CHP in 1948, but his duty was interrupted by service in the Korean War. He returned to the Patrol in 1952.