Officer Thomas P. Coleman California Highway Patrol California End of Watch: Friday, June 11, 2010

Photograph: Officer Thomas P. Coleman Patch image: California Highway Patrol, California

Officer Thomas P. Coleman
California Highway Patrol

End of Watch: Friday, June 11, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 33
Tour of Duty: 7 years
Badge Number: 17338

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Vehicle pursuit
Date of Incident: Friday, June 11, 2010
Weapon Used: Automobile
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Officer Thomas Coleman was killed in a motorcycle accident while pursuing a traffic violator he was attempting to stop in Redlands.
At 6:30 am, Officer Coleman was traveling northbound on Mountain View, just north of Interstate 10, when his motorcycle collided with a semitrailer at the intersection of San Bernardino Avenue and Alabama Street approximately one minute into the pursuit. The vehicle he was pursuing crashed into another vehicle moments later and all four occupants were apprehended.
Officer Coleman succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officer Coleman had served with the California Highway Patrol for seven years and was assigned to the San Bernardino Area of the Inland Division. He is survived by his wife, 2-year-old son, 11-month-old daughter, sister and mother.

Agency Contact Information
California Highway Patrol
PO Box 942898
Sacramento, CA 94298
Phone: (916) 657-7261
Please contact the California Highway Patrol for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

A California Highway Patrol officer was killed Friday during a high-speed pursuit in Redlands when his motorcycle slammed into a big-rig truck.
The accident occurred during a wild chase on surface streets near the 10 Freeway that reached speeds of 100 mph.
Tom Coleman, a seven-year CHP veteran, died instantly in the morning collision, which occurred two days after another highway patrol motorcycle officer was seriously hurt during a traffic stop on the 405 Freeway on L.A.’s Westside. That officer remains in critical condition Friday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
"It’s heartbreaking," said CHP Officer Mario Lopez. "A few days ago, we had another officer go down in the L.A. area."
As word spread about Coleman’s death, CHP officers and others in law enforcement offered tributes. "He gave his life for the people of California while performing his duties and will be remembered by all," CHP Officer Daniel Hesser said.
The pursuit began about 6:30 a.m., when Coleman tried to pull over a speeding silver Ford Focus on Mountain View Avenue near the 10 Freeway and the driver failed to stop, CHP officials said.
The chase moved off the street. Then, at San Bernardino Avenue and Alabama Street, Coleman’s motorcycle rammed into the side of a big rig. The impact sent threw him onto the pavement. His motorcycle broke into pieces and burst into flames.
A man from a nearby school attempted to resuscitate Coleman, but he began crying when he realized his efforts were not going to work, said John Acosta, a Fontana delivery truck driver. Acosta raced to the wreck and helped extinguish the fire.
The driver of the Ford left the scene and struck another vehicle near the Citrus Plaza shopping center, authorities said. The driver and three passengers attempted to escape on foot but were apprehended by CHP officers. They were booked into the Redlands city jail.
Back at the crash scene, a steady stream of CHP officers arrived to pay their last respects to their fallen colleague. Some fought back tears and hugged each other.
The body of Coleman, a married father of two children, was shrouded under an American flag.
Crime scene investigators gathered evidence from the scene. Coleman’s helmet lay a dozen feet from the wrecked, smoking motorcycle.
In a solemn ceremony, officers gathered around the fallen officer’s body for a moment of silence, then saluted as his body was placed into a coroner’s van.

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4 Responses to “Officer Thomas P. Coleman California Highway Patrol California End of Watch: Friday, June 11, 2010”

  1. 1 McMomX6 June 12, 2010 at 19:05

    Tommy was a great man and will be sorely missed. He leaves behind the most loving family and many friends that loved him. Please pray for them all.

  2. 3 MiguelD November 1, 2010 at 07:56

    I had the pleasure of serving with Tom in the Marine Corps and being his “Gunny” while a Marine Embassy guard. It is with great pain in my heart that I have to say good-bye to him. My solace comes in knowing that there is one more good Marine guarding the streets of heaven.

    Rest in Peace and Semper Fi!

  3. 4 JamieC January 7, 2011 at 02:24

    Miguel…I would love to hear about your time in the Marines with Tom. I cannot tell Ryan or Shaylen about those years and I’ve only had brief contact with two Marine Buddies. Any stories you could share to help our children know their Daddy would be looked upon as great tresaures!
    Thank you,
    Tom’s wife

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