SJPD Star


SJPD Fallen Officers

Officer Henry Bunch

Officer Robert White

1959 - 1985

Killed in the Line of Duty January 27, 1985

We Honor the Sacrifice He Made

On January 27, 1985, Officer White was working the Midnight Shift.  At 0200 hours, a vehicle accident occurred on Tumble Way at Old Piedmont Road.  A vehicle drove into the side yard of 3694 Tumble Way and struck a large metal box knocking it off its concrete base.  In that instant, the lights on Tumble Way went dark.

At 0226 hours, Communications broadcast the accident.  Officer White answered the call even though it was not his district.  He was the first to arrive and began investigating the accident. Shortly after arriving, Officer White updated dispatch that it was a minor non-injury accident and he was “Code 4”.  That would be his final transmission.

The large metal box that had been struck by the vehicle was a 12,000 volt PG&E transferring station used as backup power for the entire neighborhood.  The equipment had been designed to shut down in the event of any damage.  It malfunctioned and remained “hot” electrifying the pickup.  As Officer White touched the front bumper of the vehicle, he became a grounding point for thousands of volts and he was electrocuted.

Two nearby citizens ran to the patrol car and got on the radio to call for help. They then got the wood baton and a stick and pulled Officer White’s body away from the vehicle and started CPR. In spite of the efforts of citizens, fellow beat officers, paramedics and doctors, Officer White was pronounced dead at 0359 hours.

Officer White was the fifth San Jose Police Officer killed in the line of duty.

We would like to remember Officer Robert White with a moment of silence.

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