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Guadalupe Police Group Seeks Donations For Memorial Highway Signs

3-mile stretch of Highway 166/West Main Street to be named for Guadalupe police officer killed in 1969 collision with drunken driver

Guadalupe Public Safety Director Gary Hoving displays a copy of a sign that will be installed on Highway 166 dedicating the section between Bonita School Road and Simas Street in honor of Officer Samuel Sanchez, who was killed in the line of duty in 1969. Click to view larger
Guadalupe Public Safety Director Gary Hoving displays a copy of a sign that will be installed on Highway 166 dedicating the section between Bonita School Road and Simas Street in honor of Officer Samuel Sanchez, who was killed in the line of duty in 1969. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The Guadalupe Police Officers Association is fundraising for the installation of signs naming a segment of Highway 166 for an officer killed by a drunken driver in 1969.

Coming up with the money for the signs is a final step for the Officer Samuel Sanchez Highway, a three-mile stretch of Highway 166/West Main Street between Bonita School Road and Simas Street east of Guadalupe.

Sanchez and another officer were transporting prisoners to Santa Barbara County Jail on April 13, 1969, when their patrol car was hit head-on by a drunken driver on the highway. Sanchez and two prisoners died in the wreck, while Officer Luis Camarillo and a third prisoner survived.

Approved by the Legislature last year, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, sponsored the bill to designate a section of highway as a memorial to Sanchez.

In July, the Guadalupe City Council approved the application for an encroachment permit so the signs can be installed. The city received the permit last month.

“With all of the necessary approvals, our fundraising efforts have begun to honor the dedication and sacrifice of Police Officer Samuel Sanchez,” the Guadalupe Police Department said on its Facebook page. “Donations are greatly needed to complete the project.”

A plaque hanging in the Guadalupe Police Department honors the memory and service of Officer Samuel Sanchez, who was killed in the line of duty in 1969. Click to view larger
A plaque hanging in the Guadalupe Police Department honors the memory and service of Officer Samuel Sanchez, who was killed in the line of duty in 1969. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Police officials say the dedication efforts have been underway for more than a year. A plaque with a photo of Sanchez and a replica of his badge hangs in a place of honor in the police station as a daily reminder.

Donations may be mailed to the Guadalupe Police Officers Association, 4490 10th St., Guadalupe 93434.

In a Dec. 10 collision with eerie similarities, a Guadalupe police officer transporting a prisoner to County Jail was struck head-on by an alleged drunken driver on Highway 1 near Brown Road. Officer Efrain Oseguera and his prisoner, Abacuc Lopez-Sanchezhi, escaped with minor injuries.

The driver of the oncoming vehicle, an 18-year-old Nipomo woman, was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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