Part of Highway 166 dedicated to fallen Guadalupe Police Officer

Officer Samuel Sanchez was killed 49 years ago

Part of Highway 166 dedicated to fallen Guadalupe Police Officer

GUADALUPE, Calif. - The family of fallen Guadalupe Police Officer Samuel Sanchez followed patrol cars on a stretch of Highway 166 recently named in his honor.

49 years ago, a drunk driver killed Officer Sanchez as he was transporting inmates to jail.

His daughter Kristen was only 18 months old at the time.

"I remember him in my own way every day in the loss that I feel and so to have everybody here today remembering him also - it was very poignant, it was very touching," she explained.

Sanchez's family and community leaders joined law enforcement from throughout the county to celebrate this dedication. 

Guadalupe Police Chief Gary Hoving says this was a long time in the making.

"The memorial highway program was not in existence in 1969 when Samuel Sanchez passed way so we've talked about it for years, we've dedicated our police explorer program in honor of Samuel Sanchez, but we've never taken the actual steps to get the permitting and legislation because it is rather cumbersome," Hoving said. 

It became a reality after gaining the support from Congressman Salud Carbajal, State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson and Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham. 

Kristen Sanchez became emotional as she thought about the people who will drive by her father's sign and remember the sacrifices officers make every day.

"They all have a very dangerous job and their families depend on them doing it well and coming home and not everybody gets to have that," she said. 

Chief Hoving says the signs are a reminder for law enforcement as well, telling us: "Having that sign there is a good reminder to help us use our best officer safety techniques and survive the shift. So I think there's a lot of spin off benefits of having the sign."

The signs are located off Highway 166 near Simus Rd and Bonita School Rd. 

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