VACAVILLE — Friends, family and the community paid their respects to officer Kirk Griess. He was killed last week along I-80 in Fairfield.
Griess had pulled over a driver and was on the side of the road. That’s when authorities say a Rocklin man slammed into Griess and the other driver, Jaime Manuel, killing both of them.
That Rocklin man is now facing multiple charges.
Thousands came out Friday to pay their respects.
His friends and family say officer Griess won’t be forgotten.
With hundreds of officers saluting, Fallen CHO officer Griess was brought into his memorial service with full honors.
State police from 13 different states attended. Some coming from as far away as North Carolina; and even some from Mexico.
Exactly one week ago officer Griess and the man he had pulled over both lost their lives on I-80 in Fairfield.
The pain of his loss still lingering in the voices of many of his friends and colleagues at the CHP.
“Kirk was my friend, and he will never be forgotten. Love you brother,” expressed Officer Matt St. Amant, who is a family friend.
“Call me basis but my dad was one of the greatest men to walk on this earth,” stated Officer Griess’ daughter, Kadi.
Griess’ eldest daughter, Kadi, spoke about how her father inspired her to also become a police officer.
“I’m sorry dad that I won’t be wearing those nice tans that you had, but I’ll be in classic blue protecting and serving the same streets that you rode on,” Kadi said at her father’s memorial service.
Griess’ middle daughter, Kaci, remembered her father’s fun personality.
“Whether it was pumping up the little league baseball teams, or Cupid shuffling across the dance floor, my dad was always the life of the party,” Kaci said.
Griess served as a marine, enlisting at 18 in 1990.
While stationed at Mare Island in Vallejo, he met his wife Keri. The two getting married in 1992 and settled down in Napa.
But it wasn’t until 1999 that he joined the California Highway Patrol.
“I remember being 7 years old, sitting on my living room floor when my mom was shouting in the phone that my dad was going to the CHP academy,” Kadi said.
He first served in Oakland, earning the nickname, Mr. Hollywood because of his frosted blonde tips.
“My first thought was who is this bright eyed bleached blonde porcupine,” Officer Tony Blencowe with the Solano Motor Squad stated.
Griess then was assigned to the East Bay before spending the next 16 year of his life in the Solano County Division; quickly becoming a favorite among his colleagues.
“He’s one of those guys that when I was heading into work, if I saw his bike parked out there, I was actually excited to get to work,” expressed Blencowe.
Those memories all now part of the legacy Griess leaves behind.
And the biggest message that his family wants to get out there is to drivers is: to pay attention and get off their phones.
Investigators say 36-year-old Sean Walker, of Rocklin, was distracted by his phone while driving when his vehicle hit Griess and the man he had pulled over. Walker has been charged in their deaths.