Police Officer Leo Robert "Bobby" Volk, Jr.

Police Officer Leo Robert "Bobby" Volk, Jr.

Modesto Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, May 21, 1973

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Leo Robert "Bobby" Volk, Jr.

Police Officer Bobby Volk was killed in an automobile crash during a vehicle pursuit on Yosemite Boulevard.

In the early morning hours, Officer Volk was pursuing a fugitive vehicle, and a car pulled in front of him. Officer Volk, to avoid a collision, swerved, and the right front tire of his patrol car deflated, causing him to lose control. The patrol car skidded into a construction site, where it hit a large concrete block. The force of the collision was so severe the car was thrown into reverse, causing it to accelerate 130 feet backward before hitting a light pole and coming to rest.

Officer Volk was pinned in the wreckage for 40 minutes before rescue crews could remove him and rush him to the hospital. During that time, he regained consciousness but was only able to say "chasing . . . orange GTO." The driver of the car was never found, and the crime he committed to cause Officer Volk to pursue him remains unknown.

At 7:30 a.m., Officer Volk died from injuries sustained in the wreck.

Officer Volk had served with the Modesto Police Department for 2 1/2 years. He was survived by his wife and infant son.

He was the first Modesto police officer to die in the line of duty. His badge was retired from service.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge 43

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicle pursuit
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Never apprehended

vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Volk,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Modesto. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 21, 2023

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