SACRAMENTO – It has been almost two years since the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department lost two of their own in a tragic plane crash. And in that time the the department has made strides in honoring deputy Scott Ballantyne and pilot James Chavez. As of last week Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) introduced ACR 169, a resolution honoring the two as well.
“Deputy Ballantyne and Pilot Chavez are heroes,” said Mathis. “These two great men died tragically in service to the people of Tulare County, and it is a privilege to honor them with this highway naming. Their families will always be in our thoughts and prayers.”
The resolution would designate the four-mile portion of Highway 190 between Pleasant Oak Drive and Head Quarter Drive along the edge of Lake Success east of Porterville. Deputy Sheriff Ballantyne had served with the department more than two decades. Sheriff’s Pilot James Chavez served as a Black Hawk pilot for the California Army Reserve National Guard; he assisted on search and rescue missions for the county.
“The many years of public service and dedication to the citizens of Tulare County by Tulare County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Ballantyne and Tulare County Sheriff’s Pilot James Chavez will forever be memorialized with the designation of this highway,” said Javier Martinez, President of the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. “The families of Scott and James along with members of their extended family in the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Association appreciate every effort made to make this Memorial Highway possible.”
“Naming a highway in memory of our beloved Deputy Scott Ballantyne and Sheriff’s Pilot James Chavez, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in February 2016 in a tragic airplane crash, means so much to the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. “We will always remember them and their dedication to the Office of the Sheriff and their communities.”
“I am proud to donate the sign to these fallen deputies,” said Gary Castro, President of KRC Safety Co., Inc. “It is an honor to memorialize these heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of Tulare County. They will truly be missed.”