Memorial set for 2 CHP officers killed in Highway 99 crash

A memorial service is set for two CHP officers killed in a crash while responding to an accident on Highway 99 in Kingsburg.
February 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A memorial service is set for two California Highway Patrol officers killed in a crash while responding to an accident on Highway 99 in Kingsburg on Monday morning.

The CHP says the service for Officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law will be at the Save Mart Center on Monday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. While details are still pending, the Highway Patrol plans to honor both men in a joint ceremony.

The flags at Clovis Unified's district office remained at half-staff on Wednesday, honoring the two officers.

At Maple Creek Elementary, a letter went home to parents, saying psychologists are on hand as one of Officer Law's three children is a fellow Huskie.

"As soon as we found out about it, basically we kind of went into our response mode, and teachers started contacting teachers. We immediately contacted each other on Monday afternoon, and then set up plans for Monday to receive our kids and family members who were going to have questions," said Maple Creek Principal Gina Kismet.

Kismet says every family handles grief differently, but she wanted parents to know they stand ready to field questions.

"Immediately people's phones were ringing, and parents were on campus, and everybody was just working together to support one another as we deal with it," the school principal said.

Days after the accident, the Highway Patrol is still responding -- still standing by as an entire department grieves.

The law enforcement community has opened its hearts and doors. The Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association emptied its office to the CHP, where peer support and grief counselors held sessions for first responders, fellow officers, and friends of the two highway patrolmen.

Both were responding to an accident on Highway 99 when Juan Gonzalez took evasive action to avoid the collision and lost control. Both men -- and best friends -- died at the scene.

Officer Gonzalez was getting ready to propose to his girlfriend. Officer Law was a father of three.

The Maple Creek community is waiting for direction from Law's family.

"I've received phone calls from parents, from parent teacher club and once we know how the family would like us to proceed and how better we can support the family, then we'll put things into place to kind of support them," said Kismet.

And even those who may not have known the two men are showing support, rallying around the loss of our own.

The accident is still under investigation, and it will likely be months before its complete.


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