Tragic events/2000-2004

InfoInfo
Search:    


December 22, 2004: Maggie El-Gohary

UC Davis student Magda "Maggie" El-Gohary (September 26, 1984 – December 22, 2004) was killed in a car crash. Maggie lost control of her car on highway 280, near her home in Belmont, and struck a tree. She was killed instantly. Maggie was a third year psychology and human development major and a member of Alpha Chi Omega. You can read the Aggie article [WWW]here. Also, Maggie's roommate, best friend, and Aggie columnist Anna Ritner wrote a [WWW]column about Maggie.


December 18, 2004: Adam S. Ojakian

UC Davis student Adam S. Ojakian (June 7, 1983 – December 18, 2004) committed suicide with a gun in his city apartment, after his last final before winter break. He was a dedicated Unitrans bus driver and a well loved member of the community. There has been some talk about naming one of the double decker buses after him. ([WWW]Palo Alto Online article, December 20, 2004)


December 14, 2004: Martin Soriano

At 5:06pm on Tuesday December 14th 2004, three University of California police officers responded to a suspicious persons report. A man later identified as 26-year-old Martin Louie Castro Soriano had been loitering outside the On Campus Co-ops near Regan Hall. After police attempted to subdue him with several taser shots, he opened fire on them. The police returned fire. Paramedics were dispatched; however, the suspect died at the scene. School officials stated that this is the first officer-related shooting death in the history of the UC Davis campus. The victim was not a UC Davis student, and it was [WWW]confirmed that he was on methamphetamine and marijuana at the time.

Some Links:


November 18, 2004: Dennis Thrower

Dennis E. Thrower (August 25, 1969 – November 18, 2004) was shot and killed shortly before 6am at his doorway at the Tennis Club Apartments on Cowell Boulevard. Neighbors heard an argument followed by shots. On January 5, 2005, Eric Steven Chase of Oakland was arrested and eventually charged with the murder; a year later Chase was still awaiting trial. (The Daily Democrat, January 16, 2006) Eventually he plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and first-degree robbery. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.


October 26, 2004: Daisy Kelleher

Daisy L. Kelleher (May 19, 1929 – October 26, 2004) of Davis died in an unspecified accident in her home. (Davis Enterprise, October 28, 2004)


August 21, 2004: Primate Research Center Monkeys

Seven monkeys were killed due to negligence at UC Davis's Primate Research Center. [WWW]California Aggie article


August 10, 2004: Jamie Lou Adams

Jamie Lou Adams, age 43 and a Davis resident, died in a car crash on Mace Boulevard just south of Montgomery Avenue in which she swerved into an oncoming car. (Sacramento Bee, August 11, 2004)


May 9, 2004: Isaiah Velez

Isaiah Anthony Velez (January 22, 2003 – May 9, 2004) was a toddler who was hit by a car and killed in the parking lot of a South Davis apartment complex. Velez had run back to pick something up just as the driver was pulling out of his parking space; the driver could not see him in the car's path. (Davis Enterprise, May 11, 2004)


May 22, 2004: Patrick Allison

Patrick Evan Allison (November 8, 1979 – May 22, 2004) was found decapitated at the train tracks south of Third and J Streets. He had been living in Davis at Pine Tree Gardens, a residential treatment program for mentally ill adults. The coroner's office investigated the case as a suicide. (Davis Enterprise, May 24, 2004)


April 8, 2004: James Steichel

James Evan Steichel (January 18, 1963 – April 10, 2004) lived in Sacramento and worked at the UC Davis Student Experimental Farm. He died in a motorcycle accident in Napa County. (Davis Enterprise, April 14, 2004; Sacramento Bee, April 16, 2004)


December 6, 2003: Amy Holverstott

Amy Elizabeth Holverstott (January 14, 1984 – December 6, 2003) jumped from the Highway 113 overpass at Sycamore Park and was then hit by a car and fatally injured. She had suffered from depression for several years and lived with her parents at the time. (Davis Enterprise, December 22, 2003)


November 23, 2003: Fredric Hill

Fredric W. Hill (September 2, 1918 – November 23, 2003) was a retired professor who had been in the Nutrition Department at UC Davis. Suffering from dementia, he got lost while driving home on November 23. He asked several people for directions, but eventually he and his car disappeared. After a wide search, his car and his body were found six days later in a ditch near County Road 35, three miles east of Mace Boulevard. (Sacramento Bee, November 30, 2003)


November 11, 2003: Matthew Scheid

Matthew David R. H. Scheid (October 31, 1982 – November 11, 2003) of Davis was found dead from a gunshot wound in a parked car on Holly Lane, near a house on Radcliffe Drive where he was "known to hang out". Police did not initially decide whether his death was a homicide or a suicide. The lack of later publicity suggests that they did not pursue a homicide theory. (See also the comments section.) (Davis Enterprise, November 13, 2003)


October 23, 2003: Janell Gohring

Janell Diane Gohring nee Kurk (March 8, 1962 – October 23, 2003) was a fourth-grade teacher in Davis, a UC Davis alumnus, and a wife and mother of three daughters. She drowned in the Feather River near Yuba City at age 41. ([WWW]UC Davis magazine article)


October 22, 2003: Hugh "Pat" Patterson

Hugh "Pat" Patterson, who lived in Davis, was a successful professor and teacher in the Anatomy Department at UCSF. At age 61, he committed suicide by hanging from an oak tree on UC Davis campus. A crumpled note stuffed in his pocket said he was unable to cope with his "impending failure" in a course he was teaching. (Sacramento Bee, November 16, 2003)


September 24, 2003: George Ziser

George John Ziser (May 28, 1991 – September 24, 2003), a resident of Davis, died in an automobile accident near Winters. His wife survived with injuries. (Davis Enterprise, November 10, 2003)


August 3, 2003: Eric Rachesky

Eric Rachesky, a 21-year old UC Davis student, died from an infection resulting from a tattoo he received in a Davis tattoo parlor; it's unknown which parlor administered the artwork because Eric was too weak to speak by the time his family was able to see him. This was the third tattoo for Eric, who had a heart murmur that required him to take antibiotics before dental visits. He died a month later of a massive heart and lung infection, with the autopsy pointing to a bacteria picked up during the tattooing. Eric had just decided to leave UC Davis for San Francisco State where he hoped to earn a degree in kinesiology then move on to become a paramedic. He was a former lacrosse champion at Piedmont High, loved reggae & hip-hop, played the bongos, and built his own mountain bike. At the time of his death, Eric was in training for a marathon. ([WWW]San Francisco Chronicle article)


[WWW]http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/08/08/BA284923.DTL&hw=eric&sn=086&sc=353Duudee


July 26, 2003: Caleb Maxwell

Caleb Alan Maxwell, age 9 and a resident of Merced, was fatally injured when his racing go-kart flipped and skidded off the track during a Nor-Cal IKF race at the Blue Max Kart Club in Davis. ([WWW]E-Karting News, July 27, 2003)


July 17, 2003: Roger Roman

Roger A. Roman (August 16, 1966 – July 17, 2003) of Davis died in an automobile accident near Forestville. (Davis Enterprise, July 21, 2003)


May 4, 2003: Adrian Uytingco

Adrian Neil R. Uytingco (August 6, 1982 – May 3, 2003) was a resident of Milpitas and a student at UC Davis. He was hit and killed by a tractor-trailer while walking on I-80 east of Highway 113 at about 2am. (Sacramento Bee, May 4, 2003)


May 3, 2003: Neil King

Neil Ted King Jr. was a resident of Lodi and a student at UC Davis who died of a drug overdose. He was found in his bed by his roommates.


February 5, 2003: Peter Kaufman

Peter G. Kaufman (August 6, 1950 – February 5, 2003) was a resident of Davis. He was hit by a motor vehicle as he tried to cross westbound Covell Boulevard on his bicycle, east of Anderson Road. He was not wearing a helmet. He died later the same day at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. (Sacramento Bee, February 7, 2003)


January 17, 2003: Vern Trevisanut

Vernon Richard Trevisanut (March 30, 1948 – January 17, 2003) of Dixon died in a work-related accident. He had owned and operated Vern's Commercial Refrigeration in Davis. (Davis Enterprise, January 24, 2003)


October 11, 2002: Bardia Behniea

Bardia Behniea, age 20 and a Davis resident, died in a motorcycle crash at Russell Boulevard and CR-95A, west of town. He was riding side-by-side with another motorcyclist and the two vehicles collided. (Sacramento Bee, October 15, 2002)


September 7, 2002: Steven Cannata

UCD Law and MBA student Steven D. Cannata (January 21, 1976 – September 7, 2002) drowned after playing a game of who could hold their breath the longest in a jacuzzi at Cranbook Apartments on September 5 before dawn. He passed out while swimming in an adjacent swimming pool; his friends did not realize the crisis because they thought that he was still playing the game. He was pulled out in a coma and died two days later without regaining consciousness. He and his friends had been consuming alcohol earlier in the day. The death was identified as a "swimming accident" by the Yolo County Coroner. The university identified this as an "alcohol-related" death, although many of his friends dispute this. Steve also attended UC Davis as an undergraduate and was well known throughout Davis. (Davis Enterprise, September 9, 2002)


September 1, 2002: Barrett William Klenke

UC Davis Summer Sessions student Barrett William Klenke of Modesto was found dead in a parking lot outside Webster Hall; he had fallen off the building. A Student Housing employee discovered the body at 8:24am and called paramedics immediately. Attempts to revive the 20-year-old computer science major failed. A note discovered in Klenke's room suggested suicide. ([WWW]UCSB student paper reprint, September 30, 2002)


August 6, 2002: Timothy Casson

Timothy Edwin Casson (January 21, 1977 – August 6, 2002) of Davis was killed in a traffic accident at an unspecified location. He was employed in the family business, Casson and Son Carpet care. (Davis Enterprise, August 12, 2002)


July 25, 2002: Louis D. Owens

Louis D. Owens (July 18, 1948 – July 25, 2002) was an English professor at UC Davis who taught courses in both English and Native American studies. He committed suicide in Albuquerque (he lived with his family in New Mexico) after two years of campus service. (Davis Enterprise, October 17, 2002)


June 22, 2002: Daniel Enney

On June 22, 2002, Daniel Enney, age 27 and a resident of Antelope, died from a tandem jump at SkyDance with his instructor, Michael Ryan Gifford, age 26 and a resident of Davis. The main parachute did not open and the reserve chute only partially opened. The divers began to spin and hit the ground at about 20 miles per hour. Enney died at the hospital from internal injuries, while Gifford was also seriously injured but survived. (Davis Enterprise, June 25, 2002)


May 29, 2002: Zoe Nutter

Cassandra Zoe Nutter, age 17 and a Davis resident, died in a hiking accident at Lake Quilotoa in Ecuador. (Davis Enterprise, July 2, 2002)


March 1, 2002: Brian Jacobsen

Brian Jacobsen, age 23 and a Davis resident, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Santa Rosa. He crashed into a tree on the Fountain Grove Parkway. (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 3, 2002)


August 4, 2001: Mario Garcia

Mario Campuzano Garcia, age 30, was a resident of Davis. He died when his car drifted off of I-505 near Winters at around 3am. The car entered the median and overturned. (Sacramento Bee, August 7, 2001)


May 31, 2001: Colin Vetter

Colin P. Vetter (October 9, 1981 – May 31, 2001), a student at UC Davis, drowned from undertow in the Yuba River in an area known as the Emerald Pool. Three friends who were swimming with him tried several times to save him, but they had to take concern for their own safety in the cold water and strong currents. (Davis Enterprise, June 4, 2001)


May 28, 2001: Cerina Vollmer

Cerina Renee Vollmer (April 12, 1980 – May 28, 2001), a student at UC Davis, was killed while driving east on Highway 12 in Solano County when an oncoming pickup truck crossed into her lane. (Davis Enterprise, June 4, 2001)


January 4, 2001: Andrew Wieman

Andrew Vernon Wieman (June 19, 1980 – January 4, 2001), a junior from Eureka, California, was found in his room at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house with multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest. The Yolo County Coroner's Office has determined the cause of Wieman's death to be from those wounds. Investigators [WWW]declared the death a suicide although prior to the incident Wieman's behavior did not indicate that he was feeling suicidal, he had [WWW]29 stab wounds. A suicide note was found at the scene and the writing was determined to be Andrew's. The death was initially ruled "suspicious" but after a year in this pending status, the Yolo County Coroner's Office ruled it suicide. While the UC Davis Department headed the investigation, the California Department of Justice was brought in to assist. After the death was ruled to be a suicide, Andrew's parents hired a private investigator to re-examine the evidence. This investigator determined that the death was the result of a homicide, but the case was not reopened by the police. (See also the comments section.)


December 1, 2000: Ron Braun

Ron Braun (July 5, 1964 – November 26, 2000) of Elk Grove was secretary to the Davis Board of Education. He died in an accident on Highway 43 near Fresno when a car going the other way swerved into his lane and caused a head-on collision. His wife was seriously injured as well. (Davis Enterprise, December 1, 2000)


October 27, 2000: John Montgomery

John Montgomery, age 29, was killed in while riding his motorcycle south on L Street. He was hit and killed by a car going east on Eighth Street. (Sacramento Bee, October 29, 2000)


October 1, 2000: Anthony Hughes

Anthony Hughes, age 18 and a UC Davis student, was killed after midnight early on October 1 on Highway 50 in Sacramento. He was in the back seat of a car that spun out on the road and was then hit by a tractor-trailer. The driver and front-seat passenger ran out of the car; Hughes did not make it. (Davis Enterprise, October 1, 2000)


September 4, 2000: Jason Paz

Jason Paz, age 17 and resident of Davis, was killed in an accident on County Road 30 before dawn. The vehicle spun out of control and Paz, who was the front passenger, was killed in a side collision with a pole. The driver was held for suspicion of drunk driving. Paz attended King Senior High and had many friends there. (Davis Enterprise, September 5, 2000)


September 30, 2000: Charles McNeill

Charles T. McNeill (December 2, 1970 – September 30, 2000), a resident of West Sacramento, was accidentally shot and killed by his friend Lester Lasker at Lasker's apartment on Adams Street in Davis. Lasker jokingly fired what he thought was an unloaded gun at McNeill. (Davis Enterprise, October 3, 2000)


June 22, 2000: Hind Omer

Hind Omer, age 6, had just completed first grade at Valley Oak Elementary when she drowned in a pool at the Davis Athletic Club. There were other patrons in the pool, but they did not notice her until it was too late. The Davis Athletic Club did not use pool lifeguards at the time. (Davis Enterprise, June 26, 2000)


June 17, 2000: Bob Jones

Robert C. "Bob" Jones (October 22, 1961 – June 17, 2000), recently moved to Davis, died in an unspecified motorcycle accident. (Davis Enterprise, June 23, 2000)


May 9, 2000: Name not released

A Federal Express driver whose name was not released drifted his truck off the road and was killed at 4:30am on I-80 near the Richards Boulevard Exit in Davis. (Davis Enterprise, May 9, 2000)


April 4, 2000: David Thornton

UCD student David Thornton died on his 21st birthday. He choked on his own vomit a few hours after being served 21 drinks in 90 minutes by a downtown Davis bar called The Paragon (where there is now a different bar called Froggy's). His blood-alcohol level was 0.54. (Sacramento Bee 4/5/01)

thornton-bench.jpgA bench dedicated to Thornton outside of Wellman Hall thornton-plaque.jpgThe plaque at the base of the bench reads "In Memory of/ David Thornton/ David left us on his 21st birthday, but had lived more/ in his 21 years than most live in a lifetime./ His strength, energy, and love for life remain/ with all who knew and loved him./ April 3, 1979 - April 3, 2000"


April 28, 2000: Francis Bossuyt

Francis Bossuyt, age 30 and a UC Davis graduate student, went missing and was presumed drowned after swimming in a remote lake in the Peruvian Amazon. ([WWW]UC Davis news)


April 1, 2000: Erik Guly

Erik Matthew Guly (July 11, 1967 – April 1, 2000) of Davis died in an unspecified accident in his home. (Davis Enterprise, April 7, 2000)


March 27, 2000: Gary Polis, Michael Rose

While on a research expedition, a boating accident took the lives of Dr. Gary Polis (August 28, 1946 – March 27, 2000), chair of the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science & Policy, postgraduate researcher Michael D. Rose (October 5, 1972 – March 27, 2000), and three ecology professors from Kyoto University in Japan: Takuya Abe, Masahiko Higashi and Shigeru Nakano. Five other researchers were rescued, including two UC Davis graduate students, two undergraduates and one postgraduate researcher.

A world expert on scorpions and spiders, Dr. Polis was studying complex food webs and how the sea subsidizes life on desert islands in the Sea of Cortez. The accident occurred just four nautical miles from shore, when one of the groups two open boats was capsized by four- to six-foot waves. US Coast Guard investigators blamed the 24-foot boat for the accident, saying it was inadequate for rough water conditions and lacked a bilge pump or other means of removing water; investigators went on to note that life jackets were on board, but several expedition members weren't wearing them.

The deaths prompted campus to draft new safety regulations for field expeditions. UC Davis planted five memorial trees – one for each scientist who died – in the Arboretum near Putah Creek Lodge. A desert willow that bears burgundy flowers in the summer was planted for Polis, who also conducted research in deserts in California and Namibia. A "Flame" variety of the North American redbud, which comes from the Midwest, was chosen to honor Michael Rose, who grew up in Illinois. A Japanese variety of magnolia was planted in memory of each of the University of Kyoto scientists who died.


January 31, 2000: Robert and Jean Gandesbery

Robert C. Gandesbery (March 13, 1930 – January 31, 2000) and Jean J. Gandesbery (February 16, 1930 – January 31, 2000) died in the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 from Puerto Vallarta to Seattle. They were well-known and well-liked long-time residents of Davis. (Davis Enterprise, February 1, 2000)

This is a Wiki Spot wiki. Wiki Spot is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps communities collaborate via wikis.