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Saul Martinez: An Example for All

May 18, 1997

By instinct and training, Saul Martinez was the sort of man who helped others. The 39-year-old Highway Patrolman was "goodness at work," says his partner, Donovan Rice.

Rice knows best. He is alive today because Martinez shoved him out of the path of careening car on a highway north of Palm Springs. But the car hit Martinez, knocking him to the pavement and dragging him 15 feet. He died Thursday, one week after the accident. His wife, Remedios, said some of her husband's organs will be donated for transplantation "so that in death, as in life, he will be giving."

The seven-year CHP veteran set an example for his three children, the CHP and all of us. Before the accident, he had been named Latino officer of the year in the CHP's Indio area. His 15-year-old son accepted the award while his father lay dying. Now Gov. Wilson will award the CHP hero the state Medal of Valor.

Martinez' action was beyond the call of duty, but no surprise at all to family and colleagues.

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