Body Of Fallen CHP Officer Escorted Through Riverside To Funeral This Morning
RIVERSIDE (CNS) - A California Highway Patrol sergeant who was killed by an alleged drunken and reckless driver in Lake Elsinore is being remembered today (Tuesday) in Riverside, where loved ones, colleagues and those who never knew the lawman gathered for a memorial service to pay final respects.
Sgt. Steve L. Licon, 53, of Perris was fatally injured April 6 as he was conducting a traffic stop on the southbound shoulder of Interstate 15.
A service honoring the 28-year CHP veteran was held at Harvest Christian Fellowship on Arlington Avenue in Riverside.
Along with Licon's family, friends and colleagues, representatives from law enforcement agencies throughout California -- and possibly several neighboring states -- attended the service.
Earlier this morning, a procession of public safety vehicles with representatives from jurisdictions all over California and elsewhere escorted Sgt. Licon's remains from a mortuary in downtown Riverside, along city streets to the church for the funeral.
The fallen officer, a Coachella Valley native, had been assigned to the Riverside CHP office since 2013 and had previously worked at the Baldwin Park and Santa Ana offices.
He was part of the saturation patrol deployed to Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley for weekend enforcement that began last month in response
to the ``super bloom'' that brought traffic to a standstill and created numerous public safety hazards as visitors flooded Walker Canyon to view carpets of blooming flowers.
A greater number of CHP officers and Riverside County sheriff's
deputies were put on duty to contend with the dramatically increased traffic
volume that prompted multiple road closures.
Licon was on motorcycle patrol, and he had stopped the driver of a
Chrysler sedan about a mile north of Nichols Road moments before 36-year-old
Michael Joseph Callahan allegedly came barreling down the shoulder of
southbound I-15, apparently to get around bumper-to-bumper traffic.
According to the CHP, Callahan, at the wheel of Toyota Corolla, allegedly plowed into Licon, his motorcycle and the back of the Chrysler.
Licon was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where he died a short time later.
The occupants of the Chrysler escaped injury. Callahan suffered minor injuries. The convicted DUI offender has since been charged with second-degree
murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
Licon is survived by his wife, Ann, daughter Marissa and stepdaughter Kelly, as well as parents Lawrence and Helen Licon.
A private burial service was scheduled to follow the public memorial at Harvest.
The California Association of Highway Patrolmen Credit Union is
accepting donations for the family at
https://www.cahpcu.org/SergeantSteveLiconMemorialFund, or at the following
address: Sergeant Steve Licon Memorial Fund, CAHP Credit Union, P.O. Box
276507, Sacramento, CA 95827-6507.