SAN DIEGO – A San Diego police detective killed in a wrong-way crash last week in San Ysidro is being remembered by her former hockey coaches for being aggressive, determined and kind.
Jamie Huntley-Park, 33, and husband and fellow detective Ryan Park, 32, were struck head-on Friday by a driver on Interstate 5. They were on their days off, but were following up on a tip on one of Jaime’s cases at the time of the incident, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. The driver of the other vehicle, Ramona resident Sandra Daniels, also died in the crash.
The loss struck a chord with many, including Kathy McGarrigle, who coached Huntley-Park when she was a member of the Anaheim Lady Ducks youth hockey program.
“When I’m 85 and I kick the bucket, all of the baby ducks come back to say their goodbyes,” McGarrigle said. “You don’t want to be the one who has to go see one of them off. That’s the emotion that came over me because it’s backwards.”
Huntley-Park joined the Lady Ducks when they first began, McGarrigle said.
“It was great to have her join,” she said. “She was definitely a college-bound athlete and back then, we were really just getting going with teams that could go across the country and compete.”
She was viewed as a standout on the ice and it didn’t take long for Paul Nemetz-Carlson from Elmira College in New York to see that in her. Nemetz-Carlson says he always talks to peers about five recruiting stories, three of which happen to be about Jaime.
He remembers the first time he met her in person at one of his recruiting trips from the East Coast.
“There she was in the penalty box with her helmet off, throwing her hair around, just throwing her gloves down,” he said. “I walked in and said, “Huh. She’s gonna be on our team. I’m gonna be OK. This is going to be really exciting.’”
There is no doubt her talents on the ice translated into her career in the police force, Nemetz-Carlson said. Nisleit remarked Friday that she and her husband were on a “very, very rapid trend upward, just doing amazing work.”
“Her presence as an ice hockey official and her as a relentless, determined police officer — both sort of the understanding of what’s that edge to walk up to,” Nemetz-Carlson said.
Huntley-Park soon will be honored posthumously by her former hockey programs.
At Elmira College, the hockey referee room will be named after her. The Lady Ducks also plan to hold an alumni game Saturday where they will hold 23 seconds of silence for Huntley-Park in recognition of the number she wore for the program.