RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A memorial grows outside the CHP office in Riverside for Sgt. Steve Licon, a husband and father who was killed in the line of duty Saturday.
Many have been coming by to pay their respects — colleagues, friends, family, even total strangers.
Earlier Sunday, Jenifer Noyes and her mom dropped off pastries at the sergeant’s office — where one of his co-workers asked Noyes to share pictures of him with CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Jeff Nguyen.
“You see his smile and you smile. He just has that great smile,” Noyes said.
That big smile was taken away Saturday — because a gray Toyota crashed into him on the 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore
Licon was on a traffic stop when the vehicle went down the freeway’s right shoulder and crashed into the 27-year veteran.
The driver, 36-year-old Michael Callahan of Winchester, has been arrested on a number of charges including murder and DUI.
“I was sickened because it’s senseless,” says June Mihalick, a resident of Riverside County.
Last night, Licon’s flag-draped body was taken to the coroner’s office during a procession in which first responders and the community paid their respects, first at the hospital and along the route from Wildomar to Perris.
Licon was described as a man who put his family and his faith first — by his boss — who didn’t always outrank him.
Related Link: CHP Officer Fatally Struck By Car On 15 Freeway
“I credit him for being where I’m at today. and that’s the truth,” says Capt. Mario Lucio.
Jenifer Noyes will tell you the same — her husband was Licon’s former partner.
Even though her husband was promoted up the chain their bond had nothing to do with rank.
“If you think about a lot of these guys who are now lieutenants or captains, he mentored them as officers — to train them to be able to grow,” Noyes says.
Sgt. Lincon was also known for being an outstanding father and his daughter, Marissa, and his step-daughter, Kelly, will also no longer the benefit of his wisdom or kindness.
The Sgt. also leaves behind his wife Ann.