Officer Ronald D. Rotruck

Officer Ronald D. Rotruck

Akron Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Tuesday, July 21, 1964

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Ronald D. Rotruck

Officer Ronald Rotruck was killed in a cave-in of the West Tallmadge Parkway while attempting a rescue.

A vehicle had fallen into the section of roadway that had collapsed, and the occupants, a woman, her daughter, and a neighbor's child, were trapped. Officer Rotruck and a civilian entered the hole using a rope being held by other bystanders.

They managed to free the woman and one of the girls, but as the cave-in continued to expand, Officer Rotruck, the citizen, and the girl were killed.

Tallamedge Parkway was renamed Memorial Parkway when the road reopened.

Officer Rotruck was a United States Army veteran and had served with the Akron Police Department for 5 years. He was survived by his wife and three young daughters.

Officer Rotruck and the citizen were awarded the Carnegie Medal for Heroism.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 4
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Weather/Natural disaster

rescue, weather

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Officer Ronald D. Rotruck of the Akron Police Department, Ohio and the additional 66 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

July 21, 2021

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