Russ Miller on police horse

About Russ Miller

Chino Police Officer

Officer Russell M. Miller Sr., was a 12-year veteran of the Chino Police Department, a husband, and father of three children. He was the department's first officer to die in the line of duty on Tuesday, February 1st, 2000, after being struck by a drunk driver.

Russ Miller on police horse

About Russ Miller

Chino Police Officer

Officer Russell M. Miller Sr., was a 12-year veteran of the Chino Police Department, a husband, and father of three children. He was the department's first officer to die in the line of duty on Tuesday, February 1st, 2000, after being struck by a drunk driver.

The Traffic Stop Which Claimed The Life of Officer Russell Miller

 

Officer Russell M. Miller Sr., a 12-year veteran of the Chino Police Department, became the department’s first officer to die in the line of duty on Tuesday, February 1, 2000, when a drunk driver struck him as he stopped another motorist for a traffic violation. 

Miller, the father of three, died of internal injuries he sustained when he was hit during the early morning traffic stop.

He had stopped a pickup truck for a minor traffic offense and was walking toward the vehicle when a 1999 Chevy Suburban, driven by 21–year old Joseph John Martinez, came up from behind, smashing into his patrol car and striking Miller, tossing him into the bed of the stopped pickup.

Martinez did not stop after hitting Miller but was arrested less than 15 minutes after the accident, when he slammed into a light pole and signpost, knocking a wheel off his pickup.  Residents from the area, awakened by the commotion caused by the accident, detained him when he tried to drive away on the axle.  He was later found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in California. 

The San Bernardino County Attorney’s Office filed second –degree murder charges against Martinez. In addition, charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run were also filed.  Martinez was held to answer all charges and was sentenced to 12 years in prison of which he served 8 years.