Local man laid to rest after tragic accident

Timothy Shields was walking on a country road when a hit-and-run vehicle knocked him into a canal


FARMERSVILLE – A Visalia man whose body was found in a canal will be laid to rest this week but few answers remain about the car accident that led to his death.

Timothy Ryan Shields, 30, of Visalia was a beloved son, brother, father, uncle, and friend. According to his obituary, “He always met life with a smile and never complained. He will be truly missed.” Shields, an Exeter Union High School graduate, is survived by his parents, grandparents, fiancée, three children, sisters and a brother. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.evansmillerguinnchapel.com. Services entrusted to Evans Miller Guinn Chapel.

Police are still searching for the car that struck Sheilds on Jan. 19 and knocked him into a canal. 

Shields and his fiancée were walking near a canal in Farmersville when a car drove by, knocking him into the canal. His fiancee reported the hit-and-run to 911 and public safety crews immediately responded and began rescue efforts. 

The Tulare County Fire Department deployed rescue divers into the canal. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter and Tulare County Sheriff’s Department’s drone unit searched from the sky while numerous officers walked the canal. The search continued for two days before Shields’ body was found in the canal at about 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 near Avenue 288 (Walnut Avenue) and Road 156 (Mariposa Avenue) near Linnel Camp just east of Farmersville. An autopsy of Shields’ body determined the cause of death to be trauma to the upper torso but the specific cause of his injuries is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department. CHP is continuing to investigate the hit-and-run vehicle that knocked Shields into the canal. Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call Detective Brandon VanCuren or Sgt. Gary Marks with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes unit at (559) 733-6218. Or they can remain anonymous by calling or texting (559) 725-4194 or by email at [email protected] 

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