Section of I-580 dedicated to fallen Oakland officer

March 22, 2010 7:23:44 PM PDT
There was a moving ceremony Monday for one of the four Oakland officers killed last year in the line of duty. Sunday was the one year anniversary of their death and Monday, a portion of Highway 580 was renamed in honor of Sgt. Daniel Sakai.

The stretch of highway named in Sakai's honor runs through his hometown of Castro Valley. Now, all those who drive by might also remember the sacrifice.

"Hundreds of people every day will look at the sign when they drive and read Danny's name," Sakai's widow Jennifer Sakai said.

A member of the SWAT team, Sakai was the final officer killed in Lovelle Mixon's shooting spree on March 21, 2009.

His family and colleagues still grieve over the loss of the rising star, who was only 35 years old when he was killed.

"He was a young and up and coming leader," Oakland Police Asst. Chief Howard Jordan said. "If I had to go back two years ago I would say he probably would be on the next lieutenants list when he became eligible."

"From the time I met him in the academy, he definitely inspired me to be a better person," Officer Cesar Garcia said.

He also inspired Assm. Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, to push for the freeway name change.

Hayashi also introduced another resolution to change the name of an overpass above Interstate 580 in Oakland in honor of the three other officers who were killed that day.

But for now, Monday was about the man who loved the outdoors, his family and his job.

"If he was here today he would he standing here truly honored," Jennifer Sakai said.


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