The rest area off Interstate 5 in Dunnigan will be named in honor of slain Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Diaz, thanks to legislation authored by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 14 received final approval Wednesday from the Legislature. Diaz was shot to death on June 15, 2008, near the Dunnigan rest area after a high-speed pursuit of a suspected drunken driver who had his child in the vehicle. In February 2012, the suspect, Marco Topete, was convicted and sentenced to death for Diaz’s murder.
“It has been five years since Tony gave his life to protect the safety of Yolo County residents,” Yamada said in a news release. “I am honored to work with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office to help make this memorial a reality, and to recognize the honor Tony brought to his badge and his profession.”
Diaz, who was raised in Dixon and joined the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department in 2004, is remembered by his peers as a gentle, hard-working man who was proud of his community and his three daughters, Angelica, Jessica and Alejandra.
“Tony is in our thoughts daily as we see his picture throughout our office,” said Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto. “Now the motoring public and the citizens of the Dunnigan area will have a memorial to remind them of the sacrifice that Tony gave while doing something he loved — protecting our community.”
The Dunnigan rest area will be renamed after sufficient private donations are collected to provide for the signs authorized by the resolution, Yamada said. Donations may be mailed to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, 140 Tony Diaz Drive, Woodland, CA 95776.