Officer William P. Sniffen

Officer William P. Sniffen

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Thursday, April 5, 1973

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William P. Sniffen

Officer William Sniffen was killed in a motorcycle accident while pursuing a speeding motorist on the Nimitz Freeway.

The vehicle he was pursuing rear-ended another car and burst into flames. Officer Sniffen was unable to stop and slid underneath the burning vehicle.

The subject he was pursuing was arrested for felony drunk driving and felony manslaughter.

Officer Sniffen was a United States Air Force veteran and had served with the California Highway Patrol for seven years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 4464
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicle pursuit
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Not available

vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Sniffen,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 5, 2023

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