This week the San Mateo County Police Chiefs and Sheriff Association will honor the life of California Parks and Recreation Service Ranger Patricia Scully, who was killed on May 6, 1976, in a head-on collision with a drunk driver.
Ranger Scully is the second woman law enforcement officer ever to be killed in California, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
The San Mateo County Peace Officer Memorial Induction Ceremony will take place this Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 11 a.m. in the Courtyard in front of the Hall of Justice, Redwood City, and the public is invited to join in honoring her memory.
Scully joined the state parks and recreation department in 1974 and her last assignment was as a state park ranger at the Pescadero State Park in Half Moon Bay.She was patrolling the San Mateo County Coast state beaches that fateful afternoon when a drunk driver struck her vehicle head-on. Her northbound pickup truck was knocked over an embankment on the Coast Highway just north of La Honda Road by a southbound car which crossed onto the wrong side of the highway.
A fellow ranger was the first person to reach Scully's vehicle and with the help of firefighters from the California Division of Forestry station at Pescadero, they carried mortally wounded Scully back up the hill.
Scully was rushed to San Mateo County's Chope Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead upon arrival. She was 25 years old.
The driver was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and after being convicted was sentenced to one year in the county jail. His driver's license was suspended for three years and though he was not convicted of DUI, he did testify that he and his two passengers had been drinking some beers before the accident. The driver ended up serving 10 months on his one-year jail sentence before being released.
The Scully family filed a civil suit against the driver for wrongful death and won a jury verdict that they were never able to collect. In 1976 the friends and family of Ranger Scully established a perpetual Memorial Fund with the National Audubon Society. Each year the Fund sends people working in an environmentally related field to Audubon Workshop training sessions.
Today, a stretch of Highway 1 north of San Gregorio is named after Scully, thanks to State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo for introducing the resolution last year.