Senior Trooper Maria Mignano

Senior Trooper Maria Mignano

Oregon State Police, Oregon

End of Watch Tuesday, September 4, 2001

Add to My Heroes

Maria Mignano

Senior Trooper Maria Mignano and Police Officer Jason Hoerauf, of the Albany Police Department, were struck and killed by the driver of a vehicle at approximately 7:00 pm while assisting the family of a disabled van on I-5 near mile marker 243.

Officer Hoerauf was on a ride-along with his mentor, Sergeant John Burright, when the two stopped to assist the van. Trooper Mignano responded to the scene to back them up. While the three officers were standing on the right side of the van, which was parked on the right shoulder, a pickup truck suddenly swerved across a lane of traffic. The pickup struck the right rear of Trooper Mignano's patrol car, traveled along the other two vehicles, and struck all three officers. The driver of the vehicle was driving on a suspended license at the time and had fallen asleep while driving.

Trooper Mignano and Officer Hoerauf succumbed to their injuries at the scene. Sergeant Burright was flown to a local hospital in extremely critical condition. He suffered critical injuries that caused him to medically retire in early 2002. He remained under continuous medical care until succumbing to complications of his injuries on May 4th, 2021.

In December 2001, the man plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to two days in jail and three years of probation as part of a plea bargain.

Trooper Mignano had served with the Oregon State Police for eight years.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 134-21

Incident Details

  • Cause Struck by vehicle

disabled motorist

Most Recent Reflection

View all 102 Reflections

I well remember learning of the horrific accident on I-5, south of Salem, the way it rocked local communities, the pall that fell over Salem, Albany, the State of Oregon. I learned your name, Officer Mignano..., and paused. Somehow I remembered the name of an OSP officer with whom I spoken by phone on a summer, Sunday evening. I had been on the way to church in Salem, I was to lead singing and a few minutes delay would make me late. As I entered the southbound traffic on I-5 at the Hwy 22 interchange I witnessed someone struggling to keep from being thrown out of a Chevy van. I called 911, was immediately connected with OSP dispatch, and reported following the vehicle as far as the southbound Kubler exit. Moments later, a female officer called me back, thanked me for the report and informed me the vehicle had been stopped and the occupants, participants in a domestic dispute, were all safe. The officer's name was Maria Mignano.

In the days following her death, my son and middle daughter informed me they also recognized her name. On the evening of one of their high school graduations -- can't remember which one -- they were wound up with the festivities, drank coffee at Dennys with friends 'til the wee hours, then stopped to feed the ducks on State St, near the Oregon Womens Prison..., and were "rousted" by a female OSP officer, Maria Mignano. Rather quickly satisfied they weren't staging a prison break, and they having told her they had been to a Christian High School graduation earlier that evening, Officer Mignano mischievously asked them to quote her some Scripture! Touche'!

Within a relatively short time from the events related above, my wife was victimized by a minor traffic skirmish in a Salem parking lot. After she exchanged relevant information with the other driver, a female OSP officer approached from a neighboring restaurant, offered her card and told my wife she had witnessed the minor accident and would be available if there was any corroborative witness required. Upon learning the identity of the female OSP officer killed on I-5, Sept, 2001, my wife dug out her card. Maria Mignano.

Coincidence? I hardly think so. Four members of one household had been privileged to have had contact with an exemplary public servant, in the line of duty, doing what she had been trained to do, and doing it well. We had good reason to remember her the day she was killed. Doing what she did. Doing it well. Stopped to help along a busy hiway. As born again Christians, we are thrilled to know that, by her own unashamed testimony, she was "ready to go." As one of her close friends remarked in another remembrance, she was so excited at the prospect of "seeing Jesus."

No regrets, Officer Mignano.
You finished well.
We're honored.

Dan Wray
Just an impressed, grateful citizen

August 27, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.