On Monday, December 9, 1940, Officer Ham was patrolling Holt-Garvey Avenue (now the Interstate 10 freeway) on his motorcycle. At approximately 1745 hours, Officer Ham attempted to stop a speeding vehicle on Holt-Garvey Avenue. While pursuing the vehicle, Officer Ham collided with another vehicle at Francisquito Avenue. Officer Ham was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the speeding vehicle was never apprehended.
Officer Ham was best known as a record-breaking long distance motorcycle rider of the 1930s. In 1937, Officer Ham set a 24-hour solo record of 1,825 miles on the Muroc Dry Lake (now part of Edwards Air Force Base). He set 43 other speed and distance records during this same feat. Officer Ham was a teacher at Covina Presbyterian Church, a member of the Masonic Lodge, a leader of the Sea Scouts, and an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. Officer Ham was one of the first police officers hired by the City of West Covina as a motor officer.
Officer Ham was 32 years old. He was laid to rest at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. Officer Ham was posthumously inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000 for his contributions to motorcycle riding.