Mourners Honor CHP Officer Killed in Line of Duty

Sacramento County, CA (MPG)  |  Story and Photos by Jacqueline Fox
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A horse and carriage caisson leads a funeral procession from Adventure Christian Church following the memorial service for CHP Officer Lucas Chellew.

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The casket carrying the remains of California Highway Patrolman Lucas Chellew is carried out of the sanctuary at Adventure Christian Church March 4th by fellow CHP officers, accompanied by his wife, Christina, their son Cameron, family members and other mourners.

More than a thousand mourners, dominated by members of law enforcement from police and fire divisions as far away as Utah and New Mexico, many wearing black bands across their badges in a show of solidarity, filled the sanctuary of Adventure Christian Church in Roseville March 4th to pay their respects to fallen California Highway Patrolman Lucas Chellew.

Among the mourners were the officer’s sister, Hanna Chellew, who followed in her big brother’s footsteps to become a member of the CHP’s motorcycle division. Choking back tears, she recalled her brother’s wide, dimpled grin and propensity for pulling pranks, but mostly reflected upon his unwavering dedication to service and family.

“From a little sister’s perspective, Lucas was the best big brother any one could ask for,” she told mourners, among them, several state legislators, including Gov. Gerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Calling him her “role model,” she said “Every year that passes, Lucas will be a year older. And I will have another year to be better. To be more like him.”

Chellew, 31, graduated fourth in his class from the CHP Academy in 2009 where he was pinned by his father, retired CHP Captain Charles Chellew.  He served on the elite Mounted Patrol Unit for the Capital Protection Section before transferring to South Sacramento’s West Valley motorcycle division. Some members of his squad were assigned the somber duty of carrying their fellow officer’s casket into the sanctuary to the sound of bag pipes, while others offered emotional anecdotes about their friendships with Chellew and his tenacious sense of duty.

“This is a message to you and my squad, the South Side Squad,” said Chellew’s commander, CHP Captain Evan Robinson. “He was a fighter pilot and bad guys beware.” Speaking more directly to Chellew’s family seated front row near his flag-draped casket, Robinson added “That’s your son. That’s your husband. That’s your brother. He was all in.”

According to CHP reports, Chellew was pursuing another motorcycle rider, Alberto Quiroz, 26, on Feb. 22nd when he was cut off by a car, crashed and later died from his injuries. Quiroz, of Sacramento, was later arrested and remains on bail. He faces three felony counts in connection with the accident, including a felony charge of evading an officer. Quiroz was scheduled for arraignment February 27. No further hearings had been set for the case of press time.

In addition to his parents and sister, Chellew is survived by his wife, Christina, and their two children, Hadley, 15 months, and Cameron, 6.  Christina Chellew did not speak during her husband’s memorial, however, when fellow academy classmate CHP Officer Troy Christensen was overcome with grief while delivering a part of the service, she went on stage to comfort him.  Composed, Christensen said “You’ll be sadly missed and I look forward to seeing you one day my brother Lucas.”

A horse and carriage caisson leads a funeral procession from Adventure Christian Church following the memorial service for CHP Officer Lucas Chellew.The casket carrying the remains of California Highway Patrolman Lucas Chellew is carried out of the sanctuary at Adventure Christian Church March 4th by fellow CHP officers, accompanied by his wife, Christina, their son Cameron, family members and other mourners.Mounted law enforcement officers prepare for the funeral procession for CHP Officer Lucas Chellew, with the flag mounted from two Sacramento County fire trucks at half-staff in the background.