Chief Deputy Sheriff Frank DeWar was killed in an airplane accident while returning from Bakersfield after investigating a lead in a kidnapping case.
The pilot of the Century-Pacific Airlines plane attempted to fly low under the clouds of a storm but was forced to turn back. The plane struck a ridge in Johnson Canyon on the Tejon Ranch, near Lebec, Kern County. The pilot and all seven passengers were killed. Despite a massive air search involving over 100 planes, the wreckage was not located until one week later when a rancher driving along the Ridge Route Highway spotted it.
Chief Deputy DeWar was a WWI veteran and was in charge of the Special Anti-Gangster Duty.