Stretch of I-5 dedicated in honor of fallen Davis officer Natalie Corona

A stretch of Interstate 5 will be dedicated to Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona, who was gunned down in January of this year.

Assembly Concurrent Resolution 66 designates approximately 5 miles of I-5 as the “Officer Natalie Corona Memorial Highway” after the fallen officer. The resolution passed Friday, the Davis Enterprise reported.

The stretch of highway, from Greenbay Road to Salt Creek Drive in Colusa County, passes through Corona’s hometown of Arbuckle, California. The resolution was authored by Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, whose district includes parts of Colusa County and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.

“Every person I’ve spoken with following her tragic death says Natalie was meant for great things,” Aguiar-Curry told the Davis Enterprise. “One of her colleagues told me, ‘this rookie would have been the chief someday.’ This bill is just one small way to help keep her memory alive.”

In February, the Sacramento Police Department named a new helicopter after Corona. A Yolobus that was struck during the shooting was also rededicated and named in Corona’s honor.

Corona, 22, was responding to a minor three-car collision when a resident rode up on a bicycle behind her and ambushed her. The gunman was later found dead inside a rental home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Corona had graduated from the Sacramento Police Department’s training academy in July 2018 and completed her field training just before Christmas. Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel described her as a “rising star” in the department, in which her death was the first line-of-duty slaying in nearly 60 years.

The young officer was awarded a posthumous Purple Heart, as well as several other honors, including one named after Douglas Cantrell, the last Davis police officer killed in the line of duty, in 1959.

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Jaimie Ding, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee with an interest in politics and international relations. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington.