California Highway Patrol Officer John Calvin LaMar, 30, died 18 days after suffering injuries in vehicle accident. LaMar had been unconscious in a Bakersfield hospital since the accident which involved a large-model sedan and two other vehicles on Highway 99, north of Greenfield. Officer LaMar and a tow-truck operator, Al Miller, were critically injured when a 1953 Mercury ran into the rear of a stalled 1937 Oldsmobile in the northbound lane of the fog-shrouded highway.
Miller had been dispatched in a tow truck after CHP officer G.E. Montgomery noticed the stalled vehicle as he was coming off duty at the Tejon Scale house. LaMar and officer J.M. Gavin were assigned to work with the tow truck operator in clearing the road.
Gavin had taken the driver of the 37 model sedan into custody. Miller hooked up the stalled vehicle to his tow truck and had pulled it to the northbound lane when the towing chain broke at a wink link. It was while LaMar and Miller were standing on the dividing island of the four-lane highway that the Mercury hit the rear end of the Oldsmobile.
LaMar received head injuries, the patrolman also suffered internal injuries and an operation was attempted to substitute an artificial kidney for the injured member.
LaMar left behind a wife and two young sons. He was a member of the Bakersfield CHP office since graduating from the patrol’s Sacramento academy a few months earlier.