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California Bill Seeks to Honor Fallen Laguna Beach Police Officer by Renaming Bridge

California Bill Seeks to Honor Fallen Laguna Beach Police Officer by Renaming Bridge

The Aliso Creek Bridge in Laguna Beach, California. (Google Maps/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

7/25/2023

Updated: 12/21/2023

An Orange County bridge could soon become a symbol of remembrance after a California bill designated to rename it to honor a fallen police officer passed an initial hurdle in the Legislature July 12.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 74, authored by Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), will rename the Aliso Creek Bridge—which is in Laguna Beach where Officer Jon Coutchie served until he lost his life in the line of duty in fall of 2013—as the Officer Jon Coutchie Memorial Bridge.
“I am pleased to announce the passage of my bill, SCR 74,” Ms. Nguyen said in a press release issued the same day. “This significant step not only recognizes the remarkable service and sacrifice of Officer Jon Coutchie but also symbolizes our commitment to honoring and remembering our fallen heroes.”
Fallen Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon Coutchie in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Laguna Beach Police Department)

Fallen Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon Coutchie in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Laguna Beach Police Department)

Coutchie was 41 when he died in a motorcycle accident on the South Coast Highway—of which the to-be-renamed bridge was part—while chasing a speeding vehicle.
He joined the Laguna Beach Police Department in 2009 and was selected as a motor officer just a few months prior to his death.
Mr. Coutchie was born in Tucson, Arizona, in 1971, later raised in Orange County, and graduated from Laguna Hills High School, according to the police department.
Out of passion to protect his country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he joined the army and completed tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the police department.
Fallen Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon Coutchie in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Laguna Beach Police Department)

Fallen Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon Coutchie in an undated photo. (Courtesy of Laguna Beach Police Department)

“Jon was always a protector,” Luciana Coutchie, the late officer’s mother, told the Daily Pilot newspaper. “One of the things that he wrote that I read after he died was he was in Iraq, and he said he wished he could take all the children and send them to the United States because they had no chance at life there.”
Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen, who served as a city councilman at the time of the officer’s death, expressed his support of the bill.
“The successful passage of SCR 74 is a testament to Officer Jon Coutchie’s legacy and the profound impact he had on our Laguna Beach community. It also highlights the appreciation and respect that we all hold for all our first responders who selflessly serve and protect us every day,” Mr. Whalen said in a statement.
The bill unanimously passed the Senate Transportation Committee on July 12 and must pass both houses of the Legislature before it can be signed into law.
“I remain dedicated to seeing this bill through to its successful enactment,” Ms. Nguyen said.
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Sophie Li

Sophie Li

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Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

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