Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 17 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Aircraft accident
Detective Sergeant Edward Wilkinson was killed when the police helicopter he was piloting crashed while searching for a missing child.
Sergeant Wilkinson was returning to the helicopter hangar at the Sonoma County Airport after searching for a missing nine-year old girl when the helicopter ran out of fuel and crashed into a field on Barnes Road, approximately one-half mile south of River Road. Also injured in the crash was helicopter observer Reserve Deputy Gloria Baxter.
Sergeant Wilkinson was severely injured and succumbed to his injuries later that night. Reserve Deputy Baxter suffered major injuries but ultimately recovered.
Sergeant Wilkinson had served with the agency for 17 years, started the Department’s helicopter program and was its first pilot. The Wilkinson Valor Award was created in Sergeant Wilkinson’s memory to honor fellow officers for acts of heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty. Sergeant Wilkinson’s ashes were scattered at sea.