Highway 86 Section Dedicated to Fallen CHP Officer
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED May. 24, 2013
MECCA - Today, a section of Highway 86 was dedicated to fallen California Highway Patrol officer, Saul Martinez. The dedication was held at Saul Martinez Elementary School in Mecca.
"I just knew it was going to be big, because Saul was so popular here, and like I said, I was blessed in two ways. One I was blessed I got to work with him, and the other way, I'm basically here because of him," shared CHP officer, Donovan Rice.
He remembers how his partner saved him in 1997.
"As we started walking down to the patrol car to run the registration, we heard the sound of gravel. The next thing I know is Saul is putting his hand on me and shoving me and says run," said Rice.
39-year-old Saul Martinez was remembered as a "hero" during his dedication. Nearly 1,000 people attended the ceremony including his closest friends and family, CHP officers and elementary students. Local leaders presented the family with placards in his honor. Then, they revealed the highway sign.
The stretch between Interstate 10 and one mile north of Airport Boulevard is designated "The CHP Officer Saul Martinez Memorial Highway." After 16 years of his death, it may seem like a long time to wait, but for his loved ones, they say Saul Martinez will forever have a place in their hearts.
Martinez was with the CHP for seven years and was named Latino Peace Officer of the Year for the San Bernardino and Riverside counties. After his death, he was awarded the Medal of Valor for saving his partner.