Sunday, February 26, 2006

Army National Guard Gregory John Bailey

Remember Our Heroes

Army National Guard Gregory John Bailey, 36, Adelanto, California

HESPERIA, Calif. -- A California Highway Patrol officer was killed when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver while trying to pull over another drunk driving suspect, authorities said.

Motorcycle officer Gregory John Bailey, 36, was killed on Interstate 15 near State Highway 395 in Hesperia, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

He was the sixth CHP officer killed in the line of duty in the last five months.

"We have talked about this way too often here recently and now we mourn the death of officer John Bailey," CHP Commissioner Mike Brown said at a news conference. "Never in the history of the Highway Patrol have we seen this type of tragedy, with the number of events that we have seen in this short period of time."

A 10-year veteran of the Highway Patrol, Bailey had been back on duty for just a few months after serving for 14 months in Iraq with the Army National Guard, where he served as a unit maintenance supervisor for Army Blackhawk helicopter crews.

"The California Highway Patrol has lost another family member in what has been a tragic few months," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

In the most recent CHP death, 36-year-old officer Earl Scott was fatally shot during a routine traffic stop on Feb. 17 near Modesto.

Authorities said Bailey was hit by Domingo Esqueda, 20, who had been driving on the shoulder. His car struck Bailey, sending his motorcycle into traffic and Esqueda's vehicle struck the car that the officer had pulled over, said CHP Sgt. Michael Collins.

The driver of the stationary car, 52-year-old Francisco Trujillo, suffered moderate injuries and was airlifted to a hospital. Bailey also was taken to the hospital where he died.

Esqueda was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI.

Bailey was born in Ann Arbor, MI on June 17, 1969. His family moved to Thurmont, Maryland and he graduated from Catoctin High School in 1987. John joined the Army in 1987 and served as a helicopter crew chief for 6 years in Germany and Ft. Irwin, CA. John joined the California Highway Patrol in 1995 and initially assigned to the Barstow, CA station. In 2000 he transferred to the Rancho Cucamongo station and began riding CHP motorcycles. He enjoyed his military and highway patrol careers very much and was proud to serve his community and his country. John is survived by his loving wife of 14 yrs, and four children.

Army National Guard Gregory John Bailey was killed by a drunk driver on 02/26/06.

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