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Retired CHP Sergeant Killed


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  • Retired CHP Sergeant Killed

    Retired highway patrol officer dies on road he once patrolled

    By GREG WELTER - Staff Writer
    Article Launched: 09/20/2008 12:00:00 AM PDT

    YUBA CITY — Retired California Highway Patrol officer James Silsbee, 73, died Thursday after he rode his bicycle into traffic on Highway 99 and slammed into the side of a truck.

    Public Information Officer Jeff Larson said Silsbee spent 30 years with the CHP — 23 of those in the Yuba-Sutter area — and retired in 1991 as a sergeant.

    Investigators said Silsbee, of Yuba City, was riding a Mongoose mountain bike on the east shoulder of 99, north of Hunn Road, about 2 p.m.

    A tractor-trailer driver traveling north on 99 reportedly pulled to the left lane and slowed to make a left onto Franklin Road. The truck driver told the CHP a passenger car in front of him suddenly swerved to the right.

    The truck driver, Gary Magee, 55, then saw Silsbee as he reportedly darted into the big rig's path of travel.

    Magee hit his breaks and swerved left, but Silsbee collided with the right side of the tractor and fell to the ground. A CHP officer arrived in seconds and attempted to render first aid. An ambulance crew said attempts to revive Silsbee were unsuccessful and pronounced him dead at the scene.

    Investigators said it doesn't appear that drugs or alcohol contributed to the collision.

    It's believed Silsbee was trying to get across 99 to turn left on Franklin.

    The accident closed northbound 99 for about two hours, with traffic diverted onto Hunn Road.

    Silsbee's son Scott, also a CHP officer, said his father had recently acquired the bicycle.

    Scott Silsbee served as a captain at the Yuba-Sutter area office before his transfer to CHP headquarters in West Sacramento. Larson noted that several officers in the department are friends of the victim and said his death has come as a shock.

    Larson said the CHP will participate officially in a memorial service for Silsbee at the request of family members.
    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)]

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