Police Officer Claire Nicole Carolyn Connelly

Police Officer Claire Nicole Carolyn Connelly

Riverside Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, July 12, 1998

Claire Nicole Carolyn Connelly

Officer Claire Connelly succumbed to injuries sustained the previous day when she was struck by a drunk driver.

During the early morning of Sunday, July 11, 1998, Officer Connelly was investigating a traffic collision on a roadway in the city of Riverside when she was struck by a drunk motorist. The drunk driver’s vehicle then collided with a parked tow truck, injuring the tow truck driver. Officer Connelly suffered head, pelvic, and abdominal injuries. The tow truck driver, who suffered knee and other moderate injuries as a result of the collision, was able to use Officer Connelly’s police car radio to call for help.

Officer Connelly was removed from life support on July 12, 1998, becoming the Riverside Police Department’s first female police officer to die in the line of duty.

Officer Connelly had served with the Riverside Police Department for 18 months. She is survived by her parents, sister, brother, stepfather, stepmother, grandparents, and nephews.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Incident Date Saturday, July 11, 1998
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Charged w/ felony drunk driving

Most Recent Reflection

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You already know how I feel about you. We didn’t get to live our dream together but we did get to dream it. Some years have gone by now and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say this. I think about you every day, still, every single day. This has been going on long enough now that I’m quite sure it will continue until the day I join you. Just in case I didn’t say it enough, I love you. I loved you before I met you. You were just a dream then. A dream I hoped would come true for me one day maybe. Then you came into my life and I have never been the same. I’m sure you have some idea the impact you had on the lives of people who were lucky enough to know you but maybe not completely, you just didn’t get enough time. Through the practice of reminiscing I get to re-live the times we had together. Maybe you’re in a place where you can remember the fox at the edge of the meadow or the feeling of the water at the clay cliffs. It was the closest to true contentment I have ever experienced and I owe you the best memories of my life. I miss you so much.

Dan Vail

December 15, 2015

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