RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Thousands of police officers from across California and Nevada paid their respects Tuesday to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Licon, who was killed earlier this month by a driver who has since been charged with murder.
Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside was packed with so many people — as many as 6,000 mourners that included police officers, firefighters and Caltrans workers — that some had to be accommodated with an overflow area outside. The private service was preceded by a procession led by a motorcade and honor guard.
Licon was survived by his wife, stepdaughter and daughter, Marissa Licon, who spoke at the emotional service.
“To me, my dad was invincible,” she said. “So on April 6, when I got the call that my dad had been in an accident, never did I imagine that my dad would not be here to see me graduate college or walk down the aisle.”
The CHP veteran of nearly three decades was not the first untimely death in the Licon family. The family also lost a 12-year-old son in 2012.
“Dad, I will miss you forever,” Marissa Licon said. “It brings me peace knowing that you are in heaven with Nathan.”
According to the CHP, Licon was working extra enforcement along the 15 Freeway near Lake Elsinore on April 6 due to the crowds hoping to see the superbloom in Walker Canyon. He had just pulled over a car when a gray Toyota driving on the shoulder struck Licon and his motorcycle, pinning it against the car he had pulled over.
The driver of the Toyota, Michael Callahan, has since been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the crash. Authorities say Callahan, who had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor DUI out of Orange County in 2004, was driving under the influence of alcohol when he struck Licon.
A private burial service followed the memorial at Harvest.
The California Association of Highway Patrolmen Credit Union is accepting donations for the family online, or via mail at the following address: Sergeant Steve Licon Memorial Fund, CAHP Credit Union, P.O. Box 276507, Sacramento, CA 95827-6507.