06/11/2007

Calif. patrolman dies in crash

CHP officer dies in fiery crash near Ariz. border

The Associated Press
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WINTERHAVEN, Ariz. — A California Highway Patrol officer was pronounced dead today in an Arizona hospital, a few hours after being injured in a single- vehicle crash in the sand dunes of eastern Imperial County today.

A CHP dispatcher in El Centro said officers had no details yet, and were gathering in the local office to learn more details.

Traffic investigators at the scene, about 10 miles west of the Arizona state line and 160 miles east of San Diego, asked for tents and bottled water to help them deal with 100-degree temperatures as they reconstructed the accident. Red Cross supplies were sent from Yuma, Arizona.

Witnesses told CHP dispatchers at about 9:05 a.m. that a vehicle had flown off the freeway and rolled numerous times, and was barely recognizable as a CHP cruiser after the crash.

Rural-Metro Fire Department firefighters from Yuma rushed to the crash, and cut the officer out of the wrecked cruiser. Arizona Department of Public Safety officers were diverting eastbound traffic off the freeway at Ogilsby Road, about 160 miles east of San Diego, CHP dispatchers said.

The mortally-injured CHP officer was flown to Yuma, about 10 miles east of the accident site. He was pronounced dead at Yuma Regional Medical Center.

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