Freeway Section Near Needles Named After Fallen CHP Officer

(May 17) NEEDLES — Six decades after he was killed in the line of duty by a drunken driver, Highway Patrol Officer John “Jack” Armatoski has been honored with a portion of Interstate 40 now being named after him.
Armatoski died from his injuries sustained while he was on patrol on May 1, 1953. Dedicated to public service as well as serving his country, he made repeated sacrifices toward that ideal, and paid the ultimate price.
Born in 1917, Armatoski enlisted in the Army Air Corps after the United States entered World War II. He qualified as a bomber pilot and was flying a B-17 when he and his crew were shot down over Austria. Armatoski spent 13 months as a prisoner of war.
When he returned to California as a civilian, he eventually went to work for the Highway Patrol. He was killed while on duty at the age of 36.
On May 1, a ceremony heralding the dedication of that portion of Interstate 40 five miles west of Needles to the Needles City Limits as CHP Officer John “Jack” Armatoski Memorial Freeway   was held at the Highway Patrol office in Needles.
“This great man laid down his life doing his duty,” said Steve Griffin, secretary for the California Association of Highway Patrolmen.

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