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Off-duty CHP officer killed in collision


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  • Off-duty CHP officer killed in collision

    A 30-year-old California Highway Patrol officer killed in a motorcycle accident in Los Olivos was remembered by colleagues Friday as a young man whose career was maturing into a model

    A 30-year-old California Highway Patrol officer killed in a motorcycle accident in Los Olivos was remembered by colleagues Friday as a young man whose career was maturing into a model of dedication to public service.

    The fatal accident occurred Thursday as Officer Jarrod Martinez of Buellton was driving home on his 1998 Honda motorcycle after testifying in a traffic-court appearance in Santa Barbara, according to Capt. Jeff Sgobba, commander of the Santa Barbara CHP office where Martinez was assigned.

    Martinez was struck and dragged by a 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera driven by Curtis Seymour Smith, 68, of Solvang at about 12:15 p.m., Sgobba said.

    The accident occurred on Steele Street, where it connects to Foxen Canyon Road, on the south side of Highway 154.

    According to the CHP report, Smith turned right off eastbound Highway 154 onto Foxen Canyon, then cut the corner short as he turned onto Steele Street, "which caused his vehicle to be positioned on the wrong side of the road as he transitioned onto Steele Street."

    A row of trees obscured Smith's line of sight as he made the turn, the CHP said.

    Martinez, who was westbound on Steele, took evasive action and braked hard to avoid a collision, which caused him to be thrown from his red motorcycle. The Porsche then struck Martinez and dragged him under the undercarriage for about 45 feet, according to the CHP report.

    An off-duty Santa Barbara County deputy medical examiner who happened to be in the area at the time of the crash rendered emergency aid, but Martinez died moments later, according to the CHP.

    Smith is not believed to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and no arrest was made, the CHP said.

    Although he was riding his personal motorcycle, Martinez was on duty at the time of his death, the CHP said. He was wearing protective gear, such as a helmet, jacket, gloves and boots, the CHP said.

    Officers from the Buellton CHP office and the agency's Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team are handling the investigation.

    Martinez's death is more poignant as it involved one of their own, Sgobba said, adding that a renewed commitment by the men and women of the Santa Barbara CHP office will be their tribute.

    A 1997 graduate of San Marcos High School, Martinez is survived by his wife Trisha and daughter Julia, 4.

    Born in Massachusetts in 1979, Martinez moved to Santa Barbara in 1983. A skilled mechanic, Martinez worked on Audi, BMW and Porsche autos for Cutter Motors of Santa Barbara. He eventually transferred to a Sacramento Audi dealer. He entered the CHP Academy in April 2008 and graduated that October.

    Sgobba said Martinez's family was "thrilled and proud" that he had been assigned to the Santa Barbara CHP office. Watching Martinez blossom into a "model officer" through a high work ethic, upbeat attitude and easy-going personality was a pleasure, Sgobba said.

    "He was a very, very solid young man," he said. "The type who made the office and community better."

    A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden at Anacapa and Anapamu streets in Santa Barbara.

    On Friday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement announcing capitol flags will be flown at half-staff in his honor.

    A trust fund for Martinez's family is being set up at Wells Fargo Bank.

  • #2
    Due to the fact he was returning home from court this incident has been categorized as a line of duty death.

    A very tragic and unnecessary death because of someone cutting a corner, while turning, at a blind intersection and not seeing the oncoming motorcycle.

    RIP Officer Martinez! Your career was much to short.

    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


    • #3
      My prayers go out for him and the family he left behind. Rest in Peace.
      Originally Posted by Law100
      Note to everyone: notice how respect I am


      • #4
        May you rest in peace, Officer Martinez.


        • #5
          Rest in peace brother. Thoughts and prayers to Officer Martinez's wife, daughter and friends.


          • #6
            R.I.P. I wish people would pay attention when they drive!! A senseless death due to driver inattention. I'm very sorry for Officer Martinez's family.
            Ivan, did you see the sun rise this morningsigpic?


            • #7
              Rest in peace brother, we will take it from here.

              God bless the Martinez family and the California Highway Patrol.


              • #8
                RIP Officer Martinez....

                All because careless driving.


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