6/20/1980 – Motorcycle Accident
A handful of Bakersfield Police Officers going off the night shift sat around the coffee room saying little. When they talked, the expressions were of disbelief and shock over the sudden death of Police Sergeant Patrick D. Vegas.
The last time a Bakersfield officer was killed while on duty was nearly 28-years earlier. A couple of the officers in the room were on duty when Vegas, 35, was struck down on his motorcycle at the intersection of White Land and Wible Road.
Vegas was responding to a traffic accident when a car driven by a 16-year-old juvenile collided with Vegas’ motorcycle. Vegas was pronounced dead at San Joaquin hospital about a half hour later.
Vegas, an 11-year veteran, was well liked and respected in the department. A Bakersfield native, Vegas was a graduate of Bakersfield High School, he also attended Bakersfield College. Vegas served in the army from 1966 to 1969, assigned to the infantry. During that time he served in combat in Vietnam, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.
He left behind his wife, Beverin, daughter Darci, 5, and a son Chad, 6.