On September 25, 1965, while converting the Memorial Bridge to its peak hour configuration Motorcycle-mounted Officer Michael L. Petrella was thrown from his motorcycle as it skidded during a rain storm and was subsequently struck by a taxicab. Officer Petrella died of his injuries at George Washington University Hospital.

A DC native, Petrella was attending American University. He was 27 years old and had six years of U.S. Park Police service with the last two years in the motorcycle unit. Offcier Petrella was a member of President Johnson’s motorcade on the President’s return to Washington from Texas after President Kennedy’s assination.

Officer Petrella’s name has been engraved on Panel 58, East 2 of the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.