Washington State Patrol Trooper James S. Gain died on March 2, 1987, after being struck by a semi-truck on Interstate 5, north of Vancouver, WA. The trooper was in the process of concluding a traffic stop when the truck with trailer drove onto the shoulder delivering a fatal injury. He had served with WSP for 20 years at the time of his passing. He was 42 years old.

Trooper Gain was the 22nd of 31 members of the WSP organization to lose his life in the line of duty in the agency’s first century of service. He left behind a wife and three children as well as a state and agency who remember his long service and untimely sacrifice with honor and appreciation. We remember…


Jim Gain was born on August 3, 1944, to Stewart Leroy Gain Jr., and Dorothy Lucile Stoll in Vancouver, Wash. Raised in Vancouver, Gain graduated from Fort Vancouver High School in 1962. He continued his education at Clark College and the University of Portland. He worked alongside his father, who owned auto part stores. The pair shared a passion for automotive restoration, with Gain being a 10-year member of the ‘Slo Poks’, a Vancouver-area car club.

His passions went beyond auto repair work, Gain also had a desire to serve. He was a member of the United States Army Reserve before being hired by the Washington State Patrol on June 26, 1967. Initially, Gain was assigned as a cadet to Governor’s Mansion security. During his assignment, Gain married his first wife, Peggy Ann Bryan, in February 1969. The couple grew into a family of four welcoming sons Nicholas and Todd.

Gain joined the 41st Trooper Cadet Class and was commissioned on February 9, 1968, assigned to Tacoma. It didn’t take long to get back to his roots – he accepted a transfer to Vancouver four months after commissioning. He spent the rest of his career where he was born and raised, working as a Vehicle Identification Number Specialist, field training officer and acting sergeant. He was honored with a district commendation in December 1982.

After a divorce, he married Rosemary Luebbert on April 28, 1984. The couple welcomed Gain’s third child, daughter Danielle, a year later. Danielle was only 1 ½ years old when her father was tragically killed in the line of duty.


On March 2, 1987, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Trooper Gain was conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 5, north of Vancouver. According to eye witness accounts, he had just given the driver their license back when a semi-truck and trailer drove onto the shoulder, striking Gain and throwing him approximately 100 feet.

The trooper was airlifted to a Portland hospital, but sadly succumbed to his injuries upon arrival.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Jim Gain was survived by his wife, Rosemary, and three children.

Later that year, the Washington State Legislature passed Senate Resolution 1987-8620 honoring Trooper Gain for his sacrifice. He was also posthumously awarded the Washington Law Enforcement Medal of Honor in May 1997.

The Washington State Patrol holds Trooper Jim Gain, and the other 30 individuals who have given their last full measure of devotion to our state and society, in our hearts and memories. His 42 years of life were marked by service to his family, state, and nation. His 20 years of service to the Washington State Patrol were marked by excellence, commitment and compassion. He is remembered for that lifetime of service and his sacrifice to public safety. We were honored to know him.

Washington State Patrol Trooper James S. Gain
End of Watch – March 2, 1987
Gone But Never Forgotten