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

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

Officer Volk was survived by his wife and infant son.


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

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicle pursuit
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Not available

vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Volk,
I was born 17 days before your E.O.W. I was born in the same hospital you were transported to after the collision. A close friend of yours said I might be your replacement on earth. I hope he was right. I went to great lengths to memorialize your life, but only a few people know about that. I'm now in my 21st year of law enforcement. I hope I have done you proud. I wish I could have patrolled the airport district with you and Ed Ferro.. but I was a generation too late.... Rest in peace, I'll see you on the other side.

Officer Mark Starr
Modesto Police & Hayward Police

September 30, 2018

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