Officers and staff working out of the King City office of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) are mourning the loss of brother officer John N. McVeigh Jr., 38, of King City a 13-year veteran of the CHP.
McVeigh died Saturday, April 17, 1993, on Highway 198, five miles east of San Lucas, while responding to a call of an injury traffic accident. His patrol vehicle was hit broadside by a 1987 Toyota 4×4 pickup after skidding into its path.
The driver of the truck, Amilcar Hernandez, 38, of Salinas was critically injured in the crash. A passenger in the truck, Alejandro Hernendez, 20, also of Salinas, received minor injuries.
According to the autopsy, Officer McVeigh suffered massive internal injuries including a severed aorta. He died instantly.
McVeigh was recently honored as the 1992 Officer of the Year in the King City office. During that year he made more than 2,500 enforcement contacts, most of which were for violations identified as primary reasons why collisions occur.
McVeigh began his career in 1980 after graduating from the CHP academy in Sacramento. He served in Westminster Redwood City and Monterey before joining the King City office at the end of 1991.
“It’s nothing I have ever dreamed of,” said an emotionally spent and physically exhausted Bob Davies, Commander of the CHP’s King City office. “It’s every commander’s worst nightmare. It makes it harder because John McVeigh was truly the cream of the crop.
Close friends for many years and fellow runners, Davies recalled one of his proudest moments – sharing the victory stand at the Police Olympics with Officer McVeigh.
“We were one/two in the steeplechase,” laughed Davies as he fought back tears. “Of course John was first. I never saw his front… always his back.”
Following the funeral, Davies was finally able to relax at home after spending the past two days dealing with the aftermath of the death of a beloved officer and cherished friend.
“It’s the worst 48 hours I have ever spent in my life,” Davies said. “We’re survivors by nature… we’re trained to deal with this……. and it still hurts.”
A native Californian, Officer McVeigh was raised in Daly City, attended St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco and graduated from Santa Clara University where he studied accounting. He was a member of the patrol for 13 years.
McVeigh is survived by his wife Danielle; two stepdaughters, Hallie, 17, and Meagan, 16; stepson Bret Wyatt; parents, John McVeigh, Sr. of Pacifica and Bernadette McVeigh of Daly City; a brother and four sisters.
Memorials are requested to the California Highway Patrol Widows and Orphans Fund, 2030 V Street, Sacramento, CA 95818 or St. Ignatius Athletic Fund, 2001 37th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94116.
A memorial fund to benefit Officer McVeigh’s family has been established. Donations may be made to Bank of Salinas.