Senior Trooper Maria Mignano

Senior Trooper Maria Mignano

Oregon State Police, Oregon

End of Watch Tuesday, September 4, 2001

Maria Mignano

Trooper Maria Mignano and Officer Jason Hoerauf, of the Albany Police Department, were struck and killed by the driver of a vehicle at approximately 1900 hours while assisting the family of a disabled van on I-5 near Portland.

Officer Hoerauf was on an off-duty ride along with another trooper when the two stopped to assist the van. While on the scene, Trooper Mignano stopped to assist as well. 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 cruiser, 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.

Trooper Mignano and Officer Hoerauf succumbed to their injuries at the scene. The third trooper was flown to a local hospital in extremely critical condition.

Trooper Mignano is the first female trooper with her agency to be killed in the line of duty. She had been employed with the Oregon State Police for eight years.

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

Bio

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

Incident Details

  • Cause Struck by vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

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Maria,

You and I were such good friends who liked to tease each other every chance we got. I didn't work with you as a cop, I'm way too chicken for any of that. I worked with you as an admitting clerk at the Salem Hospital long before you ever were an Oregon State Senior Trooper. You took me under your very bossy Christian wing (I say that only with respect and love in my heart) and we became close friends working those long graveyard hours in the ER. You loved to pull out your Bible and read to me and I used to always say, "put your Bible away Maria, I am not the devil and I definitely don't need to be saved." You also loved to tease me on a regular basis and I loved you for it. When I walked into the room for my shift you liked to announce my arrival by singing a rendition of the Miss America song like this: "there she is, miscellaneous." My song for you was, "How do you solve a problem like Maria," from The Sound of Music.

This was our relationship. We treated each other like sisters and I grew to love you like a sister. I will always remember the night you told me you were leaving the hospital to go become a police officer. I begged you not to. You told me it was your dream. I backed off. I never wanted to steal anyone's dream, however I worried about my friend. I was afraid something would happen to you.

I eventually left the hospital and Maria and I lost touch. One evening I was watching the 11:00 news. I was a bit distracted until I heard them say, "Maria Mignano." Then I listened. The reporter told me that you were killed in the line of duty. I re-wound the television about a million times, my mind just couldn't believe what I was hearing. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I attended your funeral. I remember it like it was yesterday as I stood alone with people all around me. The bagpipes, the tribute, just the love being shown for you and the pageantry of the event made me smile. It was almost overwhelming how many people came out to pay tribute to you. Police officers from all over the country were there for my friend. I knew I didn't have to worry about you. Maria, you were the most religious and faithful person I have ever met. I knew how much you looked forward to the day you could meet Jesus. I remember thinking to myself, "way to go Maria, way to go." I was overwhelmed with emotion and pride for you at that moment. I went to the cemetery after the ceremony so I would know where you were buried. I still come by to see you from time to time. You are buried near another dear friend of mine that I lost in high school and not too far from my grandma. I know too many people buried at Belcrest Memorial Cemetery I'm sad to say.

It's been a long time since you left us but I know somehow you are still around pulling for us just like you always have. I am proud to say I knew you once. You will always occupy a place in my heart. Maria Mignano, you're a very special lady and I hope you're still guiding me from above.

Julie Coons
Co-worker at Salem Hospital and Friend

May 24, 2018

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