During the evening of March 23, 1930, Patrol Inspector Harry E. Vincent and Senior Patrol Inspector James E. Renshaw were inspecting northbound traffic about one mile north of Oceanside, California. The traffic check operation was being conducted on a temporary roadway where new construction was underway. At 10:00 p.m., an automobile traveling in a southerly direction missed the detour and struck down Inspectors Vincent and Renshaw. Both men were knocked unconscious. A bystander, Mr. William Trotter, took charge of the situation. Mr. Trotter had the inspectors transported to a clinic in Oceanside. He also sent word to other Patrol Inspectors working nearby in conjunction with the traffic check operation.
Senior Patrol Inspector Renshaw was not seriously injured but Patrol Inspector Vincent was in serious condition with a fractured skull. The following day preliminary arrangements were made to move Inspector Vincent to the Navy Hospital in San Diego, California, but after consultation by several doctors it was agreed that there was little chance for recovery and no chance at all if Inspector Vincent was moved. Patrol Inspector Vincent passed away at 5:00 a.m., March 25, 1930.