YUCAIPA (CBSLA.com) — A four-mile portion of Highway 38 was dedicated Wednesday to San Bernardino County sheriff’s Det. Jeremiah MacKay, who was killed during the Christopher Dorner manhunt in February 2013.
The ceremony at the Yucaipa Community Park Amphitheater was held with Sheriff John McMahon, 33rd District Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, and dignitaries from Yucaipa and San Bernardino County in attendance.
Holding her son Cayden, who never got the chance to know his dad, Lynette MacKay said her husband would have been touched by the ceremony.
“He would be so honored and so proud,” she said. “He’s got a smile, I know he’s got a smile, I can see it.”
MacKay, a 15-year veteran of the SBSD, was fatally shot by Dorner during a gun battle in Big Bear on Feb. 12, 2013.
Highway 38 led MacKay and countless other law enforcement officers to Big Bear during the hunt for the multiple-murder suspect.
Highway signs were placed at the base and top of the mountain on Highway 38 between mile markers 24 and 29 – just near the spot where Dorner shot and killed MacKay during the final standoff.
“The signs will be a constant reminder of the dedication and sacrifice Detective MacKay gave to this community and the public as a whole. His memory will not be forgotten,” McMahon said.
Cayden traced his hand on the back of the sign and left a message: “I love you, Daddy.”
“He got to sign his daddy’s sign, and we tried to trace his handprint…it didn’t work out. We tried,” Lynette laughed.
MacKay, who was 35 at the time of his death, is survived by Lynette and two children.
“People say I’m a rock, but honestly, the community and the department, they’ve been my rock, and they’ve helped us through this,” Lynette said. “We’re so blessed by the community and how much they’ve supported us and how much they’ve done for my family.”
Dorner, who died after a fire and shootout with authorities, is also accused of killing a young engaged couple in Irvine on Feb. 3 and Riverside police officer Michael Crain, 34, on Feb. 7 of that year.