This page is a memorial to tragic deaths in Davis, and Davis residents, students, and employees who died outside of town since 2010.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call 911, visit Suicide Prevention of Yolo County, or see other local resources on the Emergency Psychological Services page. Also if you or someone you know is profoundly troubled, depressed, or has exhibited disturbing personality changes, Counseling and Psychological Services offers very important resources.
- Tragic Events By Type
- Tragic Events, 2005-2009
- Tragic Events, 2000-2004
- Tragic Events, 1990-1999
- Tragic Events, 1840-1989
October 30th, 2015: Jorge Solorio-Arroyo
"A 44-year-old bicyclist from Davis died Friday morning when he was struck by a vehicle on County Road 99 — the third cyclist fatality to occur in the region since May." Source
September 30th, 2015: Steven Lowell Inness
Steve, a long time Davis resident, was struck by a westbound freight train at around 12:45 a.m. on September 30th, 2015.
Gonzales, Los Angeles, had been in Davis with his family to attend his sister’s wedding on Sunday.
Police and relatives say he and other members of the wedding party went out on the town and ended up at KetMoRee. He was coming to the aid of his two brothers, who had been assaulted inside the bar, when he was fatally stabbed. [...] Police officers responded to reports of a fight at the bar — on the corner of Third and G streets — at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and found Gonzales suffering from a serious injury consistent with being stabbed, Assistant Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said. He was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
There are no indications that Gonzales knew his alleged killer or did anything to provoke the fight, Pytel said, and detectives have not ruled out gang involvement regarding the three suspects. Source
A bicyclist, Ronald Cortez, was killed in a crash Saturday morning, May 16, 2015, while participating in an organized bike race known as the Davis Double Century in unincorporated Solano County near Interstate Highway 80, according to the California Highway Patrol. [...] According to the CHP, the bicyclist failed to stop at a stop sign before proceeding directly into the path of an oncoming Kenworth tractor pulling a set of double trailers at an estimated speed of 50 to 55 mph.
Autopsies performed on the man and woman killed in a West Davis shooting confirmed the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, Yolo County coroner’s officials announced Monday night.
Whitney Joypauline Engler, a 27-year-old veterinary student at UC Davis, suffered two fatal shots to the head and chest and was the victim of homicide, Chief Deputy Coroner Gina Moya said. Joseph Andrew Hein, 23, took his own life with a self-inflicted shot to the head.
Lisa Sayaka Nakamaru, 20, was on a rafting trip about 2 p.m. Sunday between Lake Solano Park and Monticello Dam when she and a friend fell from their raft into Putah creek’s fast-moving waters. The friend made it to shore with minor injuries, but Nakamaru could not be found. She was eventually spotted by other rafters, trapped against rocks underwater. (http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article2749374.html)
According to the Sacramento County coroner’s office, Christopher Argumedo, 18, was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. Saturday at the UC Davis Medical Center, where he had been listed in critical condition for more than a week following the July 11 accident. Davis police said Argumedo was one of two people who were riding on the trunk of a friend’s Acura sedan in the area of J Street and Cranbrook Court in East Davis. (http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/crime-fire-courts/davis-teen-succumbs-to-head-injuries/)
From Sac Bee: "A woman who died Sunday evening when she was struck by an Amtrak train at the Davis station was identified Monday as Andrea Laurette Mrotz, 29, of Vallejo, a UC Davis graduate and Bay Area activist." From the Davis Enterprise
While responding to a welfare check in south Davis Sunday night, Davis Police officers discovered two dead bodies in a home on the 4000 block of Cowell Boulevard. [. . .] The location of the homicides is in an area that has been targeted by home burglars in recent months, but it's not known if the two are related. (Davis Patch, April 15, 2012)
Three men in a rented Budget moving truck, returning from Oakland to Sacramento, attempted an unsafe lane change on eastbound I-80 just after 10am between the Richards and Mace exits. They glanced off of another vehicle, then swerved out of control and smashed into a tree between I-80 and Chiles Road. All three occupants were killed; the driver of the other vehicle stopped safely and was not hurt. The dead were later identified as Darius Austin Powe-Reed (the driver) and Zan Djavan Lockhart, both age 20 and from Sacramento; and Lavell Elmore, age 30 and from Elk Grove. (Davis Enterprise, June 29, 2012; Fairfield-Suisun Daily Republic, June 30, 2012)
Thomas Anthony Conrad, age 26 and a resident of Sacramento, was found injured at Sudwerk at 10:15pm and was declared dead after being rushed to the hospital. Police are still investigating what happened. (Davis Enterprise, April 25, 2012)
Renne Lyra Morrow, age 19 and a UC Davis student, (who was transgender and identified by police as Brennan Morrow), was struck by a vehicle going east on Arlington Boulevard on Saturday Feb. 4, around 11 p.m while crossing Arlington at Shasta Drive. The driver was a 62-year-old female Davis woman. She was sober and police did not file charges against her, nor did they release her name. Morrow had a blood alcohol level of 0.20 at the time of the accident; she died on February 7. (Davis Patch, February 7, 2012; Davis Enterprise, April 24, 2012)
Vladimir Debabov, age 21 and a UC Berkeley student from Foster City, was struck and killed at 3:50am on January 21 in a hit-and-run accident on Highway 113 just north of County Road 29. He was walking in the traffic lanes for unknown reasons. Police did not determine who had hit him and made a public appeal for information. (Davis Enterprise, January 21 and 23, 2012)
Megan Glanville, age 25 and a UC Davis law school student, was struck by a pickup truck while jogging at 6:40am at the intersection of Lake and Russell, and died later that day at the hospital. Ultimately the driver of the truck was not charged since the police did not find evidence of reckless driving. Thick morning fog was a major factor. In response to the accident, the Davis City Council voted unanimously to change the 1-way stop at the intersection to a 3-way stop, and add a flashing signal. (Davis Enterprise, December 22, 2011; Davis Enterprise, April 24, 2012)
John Henderson (May 23, 2004 – December 20, 2011) died after falling nearly 60 feet from a ski lift at the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. (Davis Enterprise, December 21, 2011)
A dead man, age 39 and a resident of Davis, was discovered at the Yolo Basin Wildlife Area. The man had committed suicide that morning with a firearm. (Davis Enterprise, December 8, 2011)
Thomas Francis Dennis Ferguson, 33, was found dead on 19th St. just South of S St. in downtown Sacramento at approximately 9:45 pm on Monday November 28, 2011. He was fatally injured by a hit and run driver who has yet to be identified or captured. This is a tragic loss for all of his friends here in the Davis community and he will be sorely missed. He had moved to Davis in 2000 from the San Jose area and was a long-term resident of Davis California who had moved to Sacramento in 2009. He had been a loyal co-worker and friend to many people from Woodstock's Pizza and the former Blockbusters on F St. in Davis. He loved the Dacshund races on Picnic Day, loved the local band scene and was a frequent pub crawler before giving up alcohol altogether. CBS
David Erickson, age 36 and a resident of Davis, was in the passenger seat of a car that veered off the road and hit a tree at 11:25pm on westbound I-80 near Old Davis Road. He died at the scene; the driver was badly injured but survived. Neither passenger was wearing a seat belt. Police plan to file charges against the driver based on toxicology tests. (Daily Democrat, November 23, 2011)
Robb Deignan, age 65 and a resident of Sacramento, crashed his bike in the Foxy's Fall Century ride and died the next day at the hospital. It was the first fatality in the 35-year history of the Davis Bike Club. (Davis Enterprise, October 18, 2011)
Kevin Gerard Seery, age 42, was found strangled to death in his residence at College Square Apartments. It was the first homicide to occur in Davis in almost 7 years. James Elron Mings, another Davis resident, was arrested in response to the homicide. Mings told police that he had recently befriended Seery and that his act was a mercy killing with the victim's consent. A grand jury indicted Mings for murder. (Davis Enterprise, October 2, 2011; Davis Enterprise, December 1, 2011)
Heather Sieren, age 43 and a resident of Sonoma, died in a reckless driving accident at 12:20am on I-80 in Davis. She overshot a lane change, drove onto the center divider, then veered entirely off the freeway and ran into a tree. She was also not wearing a seatbelt and alcohol was thought to be a factor. (Sonoma Index-Tribune, September 30, 2011)
Joyce Ann Tusan-Dalton, age 57 and a resident of Davis, drowned while kayaking in the American River. The kayak flipped upside down near the Watt Avenue Bridge; her kayaking partner in the two-seat kayak managed to swim to safety. (Davis Enterprise, September 6, 2011)
A 71-year-old Davis man lost his life Sunday night after being struck by two vehicles while biking on County Road 99 north of Covell Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol. Terry Tanner was riding in the middle of the southbound traffic lane at about 9:45 p.m. when he was hit from behind by an Acura Integra, whose driver, 40-year-old Ibrahim Almajali of Woodland, told officers he had not seen the bicyclist in front of him, CHP Officer Cindy Leal said.
The 55 m.p.h. impact caused Tanner to strike the windshield and roof of the Acura, then land in the southbound traffic lane, Leal said. Almajali stopped his vehicle after the collision and ran back to the scene. About a minute later, another vehicle approached the scene at 55 m.p.h. and, despite Almajali’s efforts to wave down the driver, also struck Tanner, according to Leal. Tanner was pronounced dead at the scene of multiple blunt-force injuries. His death has been ruled accidental, Yolo County Chief Deputy Coroner Robert LaBrash said today.
A 69-year-old Davis man was found in a car on Faraday Avenue. He had died from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Davis Enterprise, July 26, 2011)
Danny Gene Ferguson, age 54, was killed by an Amtrak train while trying to cross the tracks at the Amtrak station. (Davis Enterprise, July 1, 2011)
56-year-old Steve Settje was killed when his truck crashed into a telephone pole just after midnight on County Road 29, just east of County Road 100A, about a mile north of town. (Sacramento Bee, May 12, 2011 (link))
At a post Picnic Day party Scott Heinig, age 22 and a UC Davis student, died a few hours after being punched in the face. According to the police and coroner's investigation, Heinig, after getting drunk, demanded that one of his friends punch him in the face. Although they refused, he punched one of his friends and the friend punched him back. The blow tore an artery in Heinig's neck from the twisting motion of his head; he then fainted and hit his head on the pavement. The police consider the fatality to be a freak accident and they did not file charges. (Sacramento Bee, July 4, 2011)
Alexander Goldschneider, age 21, was found dead in his Castilian dorm room. Police later concluded that he had committed suicide with an overdose of over-the-counter medicine. (Davis Enterprise, May 9, 2011)
Teresa Sedillo, age 64 and a resident of Davis, made a U-turn on northbound side of Highway 113 in Woodland, then died in a head-on collision with another car. Her boyfriend, riding in her SUV, was seriously injured in the crash. One of her sons told the Davis Enterprise that she may have intended suicide. (Davis Enterprise, March 2, 2011)
UC Davis student, Sandra Adelin Garcia-Velazquez, died at 4:20am when her Jetta, which was traveling eastbound on 8th Street, suddenly veered across the westbound lane and struck the base of a 60-year-old magnolia tree. The vehicle then ricocheted off the tree and smashed into a house on Miller Drive. Garcia-Velazquez was driving one of two vehicles heading home from a party on Anderson Road, when the crash occurred.
Bruce Shawn Winder (July 22, 1954 – July 28, 2010), a Davis resident and former employee of UC Davis, died in a bicycle accident on tour with the Davis Bike Club in Quebec, Canada. He was struck and killed by an RV, and his wife was seriously injured. (Davis Enterprise, October 10, 2010)
David Bradley Van Buren (June 6, 1974 – June 5, 2010), a homeless resident of Davis, committed suicide in the Monroe Detention Center, after being arrested for intoxication in violation of parole. (Daily Democrat, December 28, 2010)
An unidentified University of California at Davis student committed suicide by unknown means. The incident occurred on Bearden Street.
Richard O'Brien, age 19, of Davis, died during his freshman year at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He was skiing at nearby Ski Bluewood and struck a tree. Despite wearing a helmet, he passed away in the ski patrol room before ambulances could arrive.
Joseph John Rivard (November 20, 1973 – January 30, 2010) was killed by an Amtrak train near the UC Davis Arboretum on Saturday, January 30th, 2010, at approximately 9 pm. Authorities do not know if the incident was an accident or a suicide. Someone with the same name and a consistent age, described as a transient, was arrested in 2004 in El Cerrito for unsafe bicycling and suspected meth possession. (Davis Enterprise, February 2, 2010; El Cerrito Police Department press release no. 04-19225.)
Aretha Goldine McDonald (November 8, 1963 – January 13, 2010), a resident of Davis, was found strangled in a hotel room in Woodland, on the morning of January 13. She had also been bashed in the head. Susan Sheppard of Woodland is slated to go on trial for this homicide in June 2012. Possible motives have not been published. Sheppard's (then?) boyfriend urged her to call the police the previous evening, then eventually reported the crime himself. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor accessory charge, presumably for not acting sooner. (Davis Enterprise, January 15, 2010 and March 2, 2012)
Richard Jung (March 7, 1988 – January 1, 2010), a senior at UC Davis, died on New Year's Day in a freeway accident on Highway 46 near San Luis Obispo. His car was rear-ended by a drunk driver and pushed into oncoming traffic, which then caused a head-on collision with a third car. Jung's mother and the driver of the third vehicle also died. (The California Aggie, January 12, 2010)
2011-12-29 23:38:55 The tragic events by type page is probably the most morbidly interesting thing I've read. —MikeyCrews
2013-11-09 17:27:10 Andrea Laurette Mrotz's death is still being investigated but suspiciously. There are video cameras the Amtrak Depot and both the Yolo County Coroner, Amtrak Police and Union Pacific Police are saying no such camera footage exits. If anyone has any information regarding the events leading up to Andrea's death please contact her family at firstname.lastname@example.org. Andrea died a horrible death. If anyone has any knowledge by person experience of the cameras at the Davis Train Depot, please come forward. —albertajones
2013-11-09 21:24:57 Dear Alberta Jones. I was the one bringing this to Davis Wiki because I saw it on the ABC News ("News 10 At Nine"), and I am still very sad to hear about this tragic event. On the news they said, Andrea was on the phone with somebody. Is that true? and if it is, that person on the phone should be able to tell something? I can relate to this tragic event because I also experienced something tragic with a train in Netherlands while being on that train. I won't elaborate on that, but I can feel your loss. —ConstantiaOomen