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Lodi officer shares the importance of DUI enforcement in wake of friend’s death

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Shad Canestrino

Calvin Fugate

Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:38 am, Thu Apr 21, 2011.

While on patrol on March 28, 2010, Officer Shad Canestrino received the news that his friend Calvin Fugate had just died after he was hit by an alleged drunk driver on Highway 99.

"You just don't forget," he said.

Canestrino spoke at the Lodi City Council meeting Wednesday night after being recognized for arresting 39 suspects for driving under the influence in 2010, the most in the department.

But Canestrino said the numbers are not significant.

"No matter how hard I worked, I didn't get the one that matters the most to me personally," he said.

Canestrino said the death of his friend drove home the importance of DUI enforcement.

"I don't know that I worked any harder than last year, but I certainly was more motivated," he said.

Mayor Bob Johnson honored Canestrino at the meeting as well as officers Ryan LaRue and Eric Versteeg, who each individually tallied 29 DUI arrests in 2010.

Johnson said the officers have made Lodi streets more safe.

"We all know of someone who has been affected through a DUI incident. No one comes out on the plus side when you are talking about driving under the influence," Johnson said.

Fugate, a Lodi resident, was killed while riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle south on Highway 99 near Victor Road.

Trystan Patrick Blair, who was 26 at the time, lost control and hit the center divider guardrail, according to the California Highway Patrol.

His car then came back into the roadway and collided with Fugate's motorcycle, a CHP spokesman said.

Blair, of Manteca, is scheduled to be back in court on May 13 on the arraignment calendar. He was charged with felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content level higher than California's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Fugate, a 37-year-old husband and father of three children, was a counselor at N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton.

Fugate was born in Walnut Creek and then moved to Lodi as a teen. He graduated from Tokay High School in 1991. In 1996, he married his wife, Audrie.

People who have lost someone because of a DUI understand the importance of enforcement, Canestrino said.

"They didn't get the one that killed your family member, your loved one, your friend. These 39 arrests go to Calvin Fugate, and I'd like to dedicate the next one to all of you," Canestrino said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

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