Officer Gary Lee Hughes

Officer Gary Lee Hughes

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Sunday, May 23, 1976

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Gary Lee Hughes

Officer Hughes was killed when his cruiser was struck from behind by a drunk driver. He and his partner had just arrested another drunk driver and he and Officer Hughes were sitting in the back seat of his cruiser, which was still parked on the shoulder. The driver of a wrecker was preparing to tow the suspect's truck. A pickup truck driven by the second drunk driver swerved off the road and crushed the patrol car killing Officer Hughes and seriously injuring his partner, who was standing outside of the vehicle. The force of the impact slammed the patrol car into his partner and the wrecker driver, who died from injuries he received in a hospital a few days later. The drunk driver who was arrested first was slightly injured.

The 27-year-old driver of the pickup truck was charged with felony drunk driving and two counts of manslaughter.

Officer Hughes had been with the agency for 11 years.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge 3401

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Charged with manslaughter

Most Recent Reflection

View all 24 Reflections

Semper Fi Sharon. We will always remember your husbands service and dedication to our beloved Blue and Gold. Such a great honor to be a member of the worlds premier law enforcement Agency in the world. I respect you and your family for remembering how much your husband meant to all of us. God bless you and your family and God bless the California Highway Patrol.

State Traffic Officer 7185 Mike Becze
California Highway Patrol, South Los Angeles 1969-1971

May 23, 2020

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