Today we marked an important piece in the history of the Huntington Beach Police Department by unveiling a street sign to memorialize one of our fallen officers. Officer Leo Roy "LeRoy" Darst was killed less than one week after he began his career as an officer.
On October 12, 1928, on a rainy Friday morning, Officer LeRoy Darst and his partner W.L. Evans, were driving southbound on Main Street on their way to assist at a traffic collision.
The first rain of the season made driving treacherous, and as Officer Evans approached the intersection of Main Street at Crest Street, he applied the brakes. The slippery conditions caused the police car to swerve across the street and collide with another car.
Officer Darst was knocked unconscious and died from injuries sustained in the accident on October 13, 1928. Officer Darst was the first Huntington Beach Police Officer to die in the line of duty at our department, after just four days on the job.
LeRoy, who was 43 years old, was survived by his wife Helen, and two daughters, Jacqueline and Bonnie.
The sign is in the same location where Officer Darst paid the ultimate sacrifice, which will help all of us remember and honor his service to our community.
This is the first of three signs that will be hung throughout our city. The next "Fallen Officer" ceremonies will be November 19 and December 1.