Hudec, Patrolman William R.

Policeman Profile

END OF WATCH: August 30, 1955
Cleveland Police Department

Patrolman Stainbrook was appointed to the Cleveland Police Department on February 1, 1927. He was assigned to the Fourth Precinct and lived on East 121st Street at the time of his death.

On August 30, 1955, noontime, Patrolman Stainbrook and his partner, Patrolman William R. Hudec, were struck by an Erie Passenger Train at East 91st Street and Loren Avenue. Both officers were pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital.

Stainbrook and Hudec (the driver) were returning from a routine run in their police ambulance after responding to a call to aid a man who suffered a heart attack. When they had arrived at the scene, a doctor was present and informed them the man died. At 11:42 am, radio was notified they were complete and the officers were instructed to return to the Fourth Precinct. While enroute to headquarters, they were struck by the passenger train.

Witnesses to the accident said they had observed the ambulance approach the tracks, hesitate, and then proceed across. The train struck the ambulance on the left front wheel, hurling it high into the air, where it rolled end over end. The witnesses further advised, the railroad flashers on both sides of the intersection were functioning and that the train’s horn was blowing. The engineer, Nicolo A. Sanfelippo, saw the ambulance from about 100 feet away as they approached the intersection. He said they traveling between 50 to f55 mph and could not stop in time to prevent the accident.

Warren Stainbrook was survived by his wife Rose; son, Leroy Curtis; and grandson, Bruce Warren. Interment was held at Acacia Park Cemetery. (Accounts were taken from the Cleveland Press and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.)

Warren Stainbrook’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 46, east wall, line 15.

William Hudec’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 51, west wall, line 12.

By Recruit Frank Giuliano, Cleveland Police Academy