A stretch of Highway 33 in Newman was dedicated Saturday to honor the city’s police corporal who was fatally shot while conducting a traffic stop early Dec. 26, 2018.
Signage proclaiming the “Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Highway” stands at Highway 33 and Stuhr Road. In a poignant coincidence, 33 was Singh’s age when his life was taken.
A ceremony to unveil the sign was held following the community’s Tunnel to Towers 5K walk and run. Present were Singh’s wife, Anamika, their son, Arnav, who was just 5 months old when his father was killed, and other family members. They were joined by his Newman Police Department colleagues and officials including county Supervisor Channce Condit, state Sen. Marie Alvarado-Gil, U.S. Rep. John Duarte and Assemblyman Juan Alanis. Messages written on the back of the sign included Arnav’s, which reads “Love you Papa.”
Alanis, a former Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy, posted on his Facebook page, “I was honored to pay my respects to my former law enforcement colleague, and may his memory live on forever.”
Alvarado-Gil wrote that Singh always will be a hero. “Today, a promise that was made has finally been brought to life,” she posted Saturday on Facebook. “The Newman community honored the late Corporal Singh for his dedication and commitment to putting his life on the line for the safety of others.”
Singh was fatally shot by a suspected drunk driver early on Dec. 26, 2018. A three-day manhunt led to his killer, Paulo Virgen Mendoza, being apprehended at a relative’s house in Kern County. He pleaded guilty in November 2020 to Singh’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In September 2019, the Assembly Transportation Committee passed a resolution for the Corporal Ronil Singh Memorial Highway in western Stanislaus and Merced counties. But the process of naming a stretch of Highway 33 near Newman in honor of Singh later stalled.
The effort was reignited when Condit approached state Alvarado-Gil about the memorial after she was elected in November 2022 and sworn into office. Condit told her more action was required to designate the memorial highway, and her office went to work with Caltrans to choosing the location for the memorial highway section.