Almost eight decades after California Highway Patrol officer Albert Donald Hoover was killed while on patrol, Highway 1 will be dedicated to the fallen officer.
Highway 1 between Branciforte Drive and Park Avenue will be dedicated “CHP Officer A. Donald Hoover Memorial Freeway.” The ceremony will be held at the Aptos CHP office at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The office will be closed for general business during the event.The CHP has been in the process of dedicating a portion of Highway 1 to Hoover for several years. Last year, CHP officers memorialized Hoover even though the dedication process wasn't complete because Hoover's only son, Richard, was terminally ill.
Here's a description of what happened the night Hoover was killed:
On the evening of August 30, 1934, CHP Officer Albert Donald Hoover was traveling home on his departmental motorcycle. Officer Hoover was driving toward the city of Santa Cruz on what was known as the Santa Cruz-Watsonville Highway near Slaughterhouse Curve (now Soquel Drive near Mission Drive). A truck made a left turn into Officer Hoover’s path. Officer Hoover collided with the truck and he was thrown from his motorcycle. As a result of the collision Hoover suffered major injuries and never regained consciousness. Officer Hoover died in the early morning hours of August 31, 1934. In his sacrifice, a family lost its husband, father and son. The CHP lost a dedicated officer and the People of California lost a hero.
A. Donald Hoover, a relative of President Hoover, moved to Santa Cruz with his parents at the age of 17. Hoover worked for the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department and the Santa Cruz Police Department for a number of years. In 1929, Hoover accepted a position with the California Highway Patrol.
Officer Hoover’s death came as a shock to the people of Santa Cruz and the resulting out pouring of love from the community was enormous. Local newspapers reported Hoover would be warmly remembered for his courteous, caring and loving treatment of motorists. He was lauded for handling tense situations with skill and tact and was called “One of the most popular of the motor patrol.”
Since its inception in 1929, the CHP has lost 222 uniformed members in line-of-duty deaths, including three in Santa Cruz County.