Mile from Hwy. 79 S. 
Near golf course 
Near several communities

Stephen Michael Linen Jr.
Stephen Michael Jr. Memorial Park


Large grassy area
Tot Lots
Picnic Table


Stephen Michael Jr. Memorial Park
44935 Nighthawk Pass
Temecula, CA 92592

Dedicated:  Not Known

Location: Located in the corner of Redhawk Pass and Redhawk Parkway. The park is approximately only 1 mile from highway 79 South.

Description: The park is located within the Redhawk Community and local residents come to barbeque, bring the kids to play or to spend a pleasant afternoon.

The park was dedicated in honor of Highway Patrol Officer Stephen Michael Linen Jr. who was killed August 12, 2001 when he was struck by a drunk driver at approximately 6 PM during a traffic stop on I-5 near Leucadia Boulevard in San Diego. 

While he was speaking with the driver of the car he stopped the drunk driver plowed into the rear of his cruiser which burst into flames and was pushed into him. He was flown to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the vehicle, who was returning from an evening in Mexico, was apprehended on suspicion of drunk driving. August 12, 2001


Michael's Story:
Stephen Michael Linen Jr. wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and join the Air Force. His father, Linen Sr. is a retired Air Force sergeant who worked as an airborne electrical technician. Linen Jr., a former Cupertino resident, wanted to be a fighter pilot, but was too tall and did not have perfect vision. His next choice was police officer.

Linen Jr. was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose on July 22, 1970, a year before his brother Christopher, who was born in Okinawa, Japan. His family lived in numerous cities while his father was in the Air Force but always wandered back to the Cupertino home of his mother's parents, the Monahans.

"They were our home away from home," said his mother, Mary Monahan Linen.

Stephen's parents were separated in 1977, and his father said Stephen took on the role of making sure the family remained close after the divorce. His mother said Stephen was determined to keep close ties with both parents and frequently visited his father who lives in Seattle.

"He was a quiet, methodical type of person who remembered what was important to people without any fanfare," Linen Sr. said. "I found out after the funeral that he was always calling my estranged brother and telling him to give me a call."

Linen Jr. spent most of his childhood in the Bay Area, including San Martin and Salinas. He also spent three years in both Kinnewick, Wash., and Medford, Ore., before moving to San Diego, where he graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1988.

He loved football, especially the Oakland Raiders, and he obtained a pilot's license so he could pursue his other love, flying.

Linen Jr. graduated in 1993 from San Diego State University and from the CHP Academy in 1995. He was first assigned to the Monterey area, and after a year moved closer to home with a transfer to the San Diego area. He lived in Temecula near his mother and commuted to San Diego before transferring to Oceanside, which was closer to his home. His mother said he was hoping to eventually be transferred to Temecula this year.

He worked nights most of his career, but recently started working days to have more time with his girlfriend, Christine.

"They called it the 5 o'clock car," said his mother. "To make it to his shift on time, Michael had to get up at 3 a.m."

She said he was over at her house having dinner and watching the Raiders game the night before the accident. "I kept telling him he needed to go home and get some sleep," she said.

The Oceanside CHP office lost another officer last October, Sean Nava, in similar fashion. While helping to clear a previous accident, Nava was killed by a drunken driver returning from Tijuana. Linen's mother was obsessed with the death of Nava, saving all the article clippings and obtaining information off the Internet.

"He left behind a wife and three kids, and I thought it was so tragic that someone could take a life like that," Mary said. "I thought later that it was almost comforting to me, because the odds seemed less that Stephen would be killed. I always worried that he would be shot after pulling someone over because there's a lot of crazy stuff happening around here."

Linen's father said Stephen was always goal-oriented, and definitely played the big brother role to Christopher.

"They were very different," Linen Sr. said. "Christopher is more of a free spirit, and Stephen was always the quiet one."

In a tribute to Linen from his department, he was said to be diligent in his profession and respected by his peers. Linen Jr. will be remembered as a caring person who loved his family and enjoyed helping people and the excitement of his job. His is survived by his mother, Mary; father, Stephen; his brother, Chris; grandparents; aunts; uncles and cousins.

Source: The Cupertino Carrier


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