Officer George Fitzmaurice Butler

Officer George Fitzmaurice Butler

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Monday, December 8, 1986

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George Fitzmaurice Butler

Officer George Butler was killed when he was struck by the main rotor blade of a department helicopter.

He was acting as the observer in the helicopter and taking photographs of an accident scene on I-80, near Dixon. The helicopter landed in a field near an irrigation canal and Officer Butler exited the aircraft. As he walked up the berm to the canal he was struck by the rotor.

Officer Butler had served with the California Highway Patrol for 21 years. He was survived by his wife and four daughters.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 21 years
  • Badge 4854

Incident Details

  • Cause Aircraft accident

Most Recent Reflection

View all 16 Reflections

George was my partner on graveyard shift for several years. Our families socialized together. He and I teamed up when frequently dispatched to riot duty in Berkeley during the late 1960's. He was a natural comedian and made our work fun in the midst of tumultuous times.

Ironically, on the day he was struck down, I was driving home from work in Sacramento and noticed the traffic completely stopped in the opposite direction on I/S 80 near Vacaville. I presumed it was a serious and possibly a fatal traffic accident. I had no idea that it also was the scene where George was struck and killed by the chopper blade. Later that evening I received a call from one of the CHP Sergeants telling me what had happened. He said he did not want me to hear about the accident on the news. Needless to say I was stunned and saddened at the loss of George. Many memories came to mind of our times together.

I was pleased to be present when the bridge in Napa County was named after Him.

When I go to the CHP Academy, I look at his memorial plaque and it brings back those special memories that will not soon be forgotten. I also, looked up his plaque at the Peace Officer's Memorial in Wash, D.C. when I was visiting there. George was special to me and my family.

Officer (Retired) Jim Dowling
California Highway Patrol

April 26, 2020

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