|Officer Brent Clearman
California Highway Patrol
End of Watch: Sunday, August 6, 2006
Tour of Duty: 1 year, 4 months
Badge Number: 17843
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
Date of Incident: Saturday, August 5, 2006
Weapon Used: Automobile
Suspect Info: Apprehended
Officer Brent Clearman was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while investigating and accident on I-880, near the 66th Avenue on-ramp, in Oakland.
Officer Clearman suffered severe injuries when he was struck by the vehicle. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries the following day.
The driver of the vehicle who struck him fled the scene. The man turned himself in on August 7, 2006.
A former member of the US Marine Corps, he was a veteran of the War on Terrorism, where he served as a sniper. He had served with the California Highway Patrol for 16 months.
The officer is survived by his wife, parents, and four sisters.
Oakland Tribune 08/07/06
CHP mourns another fallen officer
Concord man, a 12-year Marine vet, killed by hit-and-run motorist in Oakland; police interviewing suspect in custody
By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER
Mike Brown (center), the California Highway Patrol's commissioner said Sunday that his entire agency is mourning the loss of Officer Brent Clearman, who was hit by a car while investigating a traffic collision on the 66th Avenue on-ramp to northbound Interstate 880 Saturday night. (Sean Connelley/staff)
OAKLAND — Slain California Highway Patrol Officer Brent Clearman was a man who strove to protect people and serve his country.
Before joining the CHP two years ago, he was a United States Marine Corps sharpshooter fighting the war on terrorism. Clearman had military man's "spit-and-polish discipline "and a deep desire to help people and keep them safe, said friends who mourned his hit-and-run death Sunday.
He was the kind of guy who never had a wrinkle in his police uniform or a misspelled word in his accident reports. Working the graveyard shift, he thrived on getting criminals off the street and just last month arrested, along with his partner, 33 people for drunken driving.
He was the kind of officer the California Highway Patrol wanted to clone.
"He was the poster child of what we look for in Highway Patrol men and women. He was good with the public, he was proud of what he did, he was good at what he did," said California Highway Patrol Commissioner Mike Brown Sunday.
Clearman, 33, was hit by a car that did not stop at 10:35 p.m. Saturday while investigating a motorist who had run into the ice plant on the 66th Avenue on-ramp to northbound Interstate 880 next to the Oakland Coliseum. He was taken to the trauma center at Highland Hospital in Oakland, where doctors worked all night to save him. He died Sunday morning, police said.
"The medical staff at Highland did everything humanly and medically possible to save him," said his supervisor, Capt. James Leonard. "And I'm told that Brent fought."
CHP officials late Sunday were interviewing a suspect that was driving a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am that had been carjacked in the area where the officer was struck Saturday night. The driver was arrested by Oakland Police Sunday evening at 36th and Wood streets after a chase. CHP Officer Mike Wright said investigators do not know yet if the person in custody was driving the car that hit Clearman.
Police are still searching for a champagne-colored Buick LeSabre built between 1992 and 1996 with significant front-end damage and grill damage on the driver-side and a missing Buick hood emblem, said CHP Sgt. Chris Costigan. Police do not have a license plate number.
After hitting Clearman, who was standing on the left side of the on-ramp, the car continued northbound on 880. It stopped briefly on the right shoulder and then sped off, police said. Police hope the
driver will surrender or the public will lead investigators to the suspect.
"You've done the wrong thing," said Sgt. Les Bishop at a news conference at the Oakland CHP headquarters Sunday. "Now it's time to do the right thing."
Clearman served on the force for less than two years and made numerous friends in the Oakland area office and across the state.
"We lost a hero last night," Leonard said. "He was out there protecting us, protecting our families."
Clearman, of Concord, was married but had no children. Officers wore black bands over their badges Sunday and were solemn in talking about the seven members of the CHP who have died in the line of duty since last September.
"When these things happen to us, it hurts. When this stuff happens to your Highway Patrol, it should hurt all of
us. Once again, we will be planning another funeral," said Brown.
Officer David Marin Romero was hit by a car and killed in Santa Fe Springs (Los Angeles County) last September; Officer Andrew Todd Stevens was shot and killed in Yolo County last November; Officer Erick Shane Manny was killed in a vehicle pursuit near the Grapevine last December; Lt. Michael Elvin Walker was struck and killed by a vehicle near Santa Cruz the same month.
In February, Officer Earl Scott was killed by gunfire in Stanislaus County and Officer Gregory John Bailey was hit by a car and killed in Rancho Cucamonga near Los Angeles. Brown said all the suspects, except the person responsible for Manny's death, have been arrested.
CHP officials said Sunday the organization is considering installing cameras in all patrol cars to assist with their investigations.
Before joining the CHP in October 2004, Clearman served for 12 years in the Marines. He was a specialized sharpshooter and served his country in the Middle East, police said. Following Hurricane Katrina last year, Clearman used his sniper training to assist the Louisiana State Police. "He was a good guy and a fine officer," Brown said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the CHP at (800) TELL-CHP.