On the afternoon of July 22 the Oakland Police Department suffered the loss of one of it’s most highly respected, veteran Motor Officers. Officer William L. Seuis (39) who had been with the Department for sixteen years was enroute home, in uniform on his assigned motorcycle, traveling Southbound on Interstate 238, when he was struck and run over by a big rig truck. The big rig truck did not stop at the scene of the accident.
Officer Seuis was transported to the Eden Hospital suffering from massive multiple injuries. All efforts to save his life failed and Seuis succumbed to his injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The driver of the big rig truck, Carlos Mares (37) of Union City, who had fled the scene, was arrested approximately 15 minutes after the incident by CHP officers assigned to the Dublin Office. Mares was charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.
Michelle Seuis, widow of the fallen officer, was joined in the Emergency Room at the hospital by his parents, Oakland Police Chief Richard Word and several members of his Department, all praying for his recovery. When their prayers went unanswered, Chief Word had the always difficult task of informing the parents and Seuis’ wife Michelle that one of Oakland’s finest had died. “She has to go home to tell her kids now”, Chief Word said tearfully. “They always have kids”.
In memory and honor of the fallen officer, the flags that fly over the Oakland Police Department Headquarters, the Pleasanton City Hall, where Seuis lived, and the State Capitol Building, were all being flown at half-staff.
On the morning of July 28, members of the Seuis family were joined at the Neighborhood Church in Castro Valley by more than 2,000 mourners gathered to pay their final respects to a fallen hero. In addition to family, friends, neighbors, civic leaders and fellow officers, there were more than 300 uniformed motor officers from a myriad of jurisdictions in attendance. An overt expression of the camaraderie that exist among the ranks of law enforcement motor officers.
Chief Word eulogized Officer Seuis as “dependable, hard working, and as steady as they come. An officer to the core”. Family members, his pastor, neighbors and fellow officers remembered William L. Seuis in glowing terms as “a great husband and father”. “A man of strong character and an outstanding public servant”. “Always ready with a smile and helping hand”. “A pleasure to be around. An ideal partner”.
The personnel file of Seuis filled with commendations, offered testimony as to his professional conduct and demeanor. One lady even wrote thanking him for writing her a traffic ticket.
Officer William L. Seuis was laid to rest in a private ceremony at Mission Gardens in Livermore, attended by family members and members of the Oakland Police Department. He was thirty-nine years old.
Officer Seuis is survived by his wife Michelle and daughters Danielle (13) and Kristin (11).
Memorial donations may be made to the Seuis Family Trust, C/0 Oakland Police Officers Association, 555 5th Street, Oakland, CA 94607.