Orange County

Halloween crash victim was Irvine lawyer, devoted father

John Roger Alcorn and his 4-year-old son, John Lincoln, were inseparable.

The 65-year-old Alcorn was a busy lawyer. But friends say he tried to spend as much time as possible with his son, including regular Saturday morning coffee with friends.

He “would bring John Lincoln, and he was one of the guys,” said James Gettys, a family friend of 40 years. “He just devoted himself to raising that child.”

Father and son were together Friday night for Halloween when Alcorn took John Lincoln trick-or-treating for the first time. John Lincoln dressed as a pint-size Captain America, buffed up in foam padding. Alcorn strolled with the would-be superhero through the Woodbridge Village neighborhood in Irvine collecting candy.


About 7:15 p.m., they headed toward one last stop — a friend’s house at the end of the block to show off John Lincoln’s costume.

The two, soggy from the rain, were a couple hundred yards from their duplex on West Yale Loop near Burwood Street when neighbor Cindy Duim heard what she called a “thump.”

When Duim looked outside, she saw Alcorn, who lived four doors down, lying on the ground motionless. John Lincoln lay near the curb a few feet away, pieces of foam poking from his costume as he cried in pain.

A Mazda3 had struck the pair. The woman driving it was crying hysterically, Duim said. Irvine police released the driver after investigators talked with her at the scene. The crash is still under investigation, police said.


Duim said she held John Lincoln’s hand, wiping the blood trickling from his ear and consoling him by speaking nonsense.

“It’s a lucky thing you’re a superhero today,” she said she told John Lincoln as he clasped her finger. “You bounced right off the pavement.”

Paramedics took Alcorn and his son to UCI Medical Center in Orange. Alcorn died that night.

John Lincoln suffered a broken femur, a fractured skull and minor cuts and bruises, family friends said.

“It looks like he’s going to be surviving but is really banged up,” Gettys said.

Alcorn, described by colleagues as a preeminent immigration attorney, was legal counsel for the Minuteman Project, a border-watch group.

Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist described Alcorn as a friend, mentor and advisor to the Minuteman Project for almost 30 years.

“He was one of those guys you just cannot dislike, and to me he’s not gone. I know he was killed, but I just don’t want to accept it,” Gilchrist said.


Others saw Alcorn as a charitable man who helped the underdog.

“He was an immigration attorney and always helped people who didn’t have a lot of money,” said Melissa Fox, an Irvine civil-law attorney.

Alcorn, who also served as a judge advocate general in the Marine Corps, ran a firm in Irvine, where he met Doxia, a native of Jala, Mexico. She visited as a client with legalization issues and became Alcorn’s second wife.

Alcorn’s two children from his first marriage, Sophie and Marlena, are in their 30s. Sophie Alcorn joined her father’s law firm.

Four years ago, during Saturday coffee with friends, Alcorn announced that he would have a third child, John Lincoln, whose middle name honors Alcorn’s favorite president.

“They were a team, always together,” Gilchrist said. “Unfortunately, his son isn’t going to see him again and have that guidance from John for the rest of his life.”

The stories shaping California

Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.