Officer Lyle Wayne Larrabee, a 26-year-old police officer, was fatally wounded when his chest crushed by his own patrol car, which landed on him in a freak accident.
Funeral services for Lyle Wayne Larrabee, 26, second Palm Springs police officer to receive fatal injuries in line of duty during 1961, were held in the Desert Chapel, with Rev. Jack B. Morrow, pastor, officiating.
Larrabee died at 7:30 a.m. Monday, January 1, 1962 in Desert Hospital from injuries sustained the previous Saturday. The young patrolman, who completed a year of service with the city police force on the day of his death, was injured when his heavy patrol car crashed down on him as he lay at the west side of North Palm Canyon Drive at Tamarisk Road. Larrabee had swerved into the curb and crashed into a steel utility pole to miss an unidentified white car which pulled in from of him from Tamarisk Road during a chase.
The police cruiser crashed squarely into the utility pole on the curb, caving in the front of the car and tossing Larrabee to the street. The car bounded back, and skidded around toward him with the right rear wheel in the air. Approximately 10 pedestrians rushed to the scene to lift the vehicle from his body, police Sgt. Nick Maff reported.
A signal section chief in the United States Marine Corps from 1953 to 1957, Larrabee was a Chicago high school graduate. He was the police liaison with the Radio Amateurs Transmitting Society here, a volunteer member of the Civil Defense net. Police Chief A. G. Kettmann termed him “one of our most promising officers.”
Patrolman Larrabee was survived by his widow, Marlene, and his mother, Mrs Winifred Larrabee of Palm Springs.