Officer Clinton Burtner
Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: 8 years
Badge Number: Not available
Date of Incident: November 27, 1938Cause of Death: Traffic Collision (Motorcycle accident)
Weapon Used: N/A
Suspect Info: Received probation – Driving offense
Officer (Traffic Officer) Clinton Burtner had been a Motorcycle Officer for the City of Riverside for eight years as of November 27th, 1938. He was on-duty that day, riding his motorcycle northbound on Main Street through the intersection at 8th Street (now University Avenue) when another vehicle traveling westbound on 8th Street failed to stop for a red traffic signal light. The other vehicle struck Officer Burtner with such force that it jammed his motorcycle against the front of the car and pushed it twenty feet before the car stopped. The crash guard on the motorcycle protected Officer Burtner’s legs, but his head struck the other vehicle’s radiator hood ornament, fracturing his skull. Officer Burtner was rushed to nearby Riverside Community Hospital, where he remained in a coma until he died eight days later as a result of his injuries on December 4th, 1938. The woman driving the vehicle that struck Burtner was issued a citation for reckless driving by the California Highway Patrol sergeant who investigated the traffic collision. She was not formally booked (there were no RPD officers around to investigate the crash because they had all gone to the hospital). When Officer Burtner passed away, the criminal complaint against the “at fault” driver was changed to “negligent homicide.” A warrant was issued for the driver’s arrest and she immediately posted bail. She later pled guilty to the negligent homicide charge and was granted formal probation without any jail time served. Her driver’s license was also revoked. Clinton Burtner was the 65th traffic collision fatality in California for 1938 when he died in December.