Patrolman James Leslie Hedgepeth

Patrolman James Leslie Hedgepeth

Louisville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Thursday, February 12, 1942

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James Leslie Hedgepeth

Patrolman James Hedgepeth succumbed to injuries sustained 10 days earlier while directing traffic at the scene of a fire.

Patrolman Hedgepeth and William Kinney were struck by a drunk driver at 7:15 pm, while attempting to keep fire lanes open at Jackson and Main Streets for apparatus responding to a three-alarm fire. While on the scene a drunk driver entered the area at a high rate of speed. Patrolman Hedgepeth attempted to flag the driver down but instead the man drove over him, dragging him 70 feet and over a fire hose. Patrolman Kinney witnessed the incident and charged towards the vehicle, Striking and dragging him 100 feet.

Both officers were taken to City Hospital where Patrolman Hedgepeth Succumbed to his injuries. Patrolman Kinney succumbed to his injuries a week after the incident.

The driver of the vehicle was charged with two counts of manslaughter, two counts of assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, and driving with defective brakes. On April 16, 1942, the driver was sentenced to five years in prison and given a $9 and $19 sentence to pay for drunken driving.

Patrolman Kinney served with the Louisville Police Department for 15 years. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and two daughters. Patrolman Hedgepeth and Kinney were hired on November 8, 1926.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 15 years, 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Incident Date Monday, February 2, 1942
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Sentenced to five years

directing traffic, drunk driver, fire

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Rest in peace Patrolman Hedgepeth.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

January 17, 2020

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