08/28/2003

CHP Officer Killed in Tragic Accident

Officer Down: Shannon Distel - [Riverside, California]

RIVERSIDE - A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer died when he hit a small pickup that made a left turn in front of him, authorities said.

Officer Shannon Distel, 31, was rushed to Riverside County Regional Medical Center on Wednesday where he was pronounced dead, coroner officials and Riverside police Lt. Ed Blevins said.

Authorities said the driver of the truck, 31-year-old Miguel Martin, was not injured.

The CHP was investigating the accident and it was unclear if Martin would be cited, said CHP Officer Jim Whitney. It was unclear how fast Distel was going.

Police and CHP officers responded to the crash around 4:30 p.m. Blevins said the truck, pulling a trailer, made a left turn in front of the officer at a busy intersection, causing the officer to run into the vehicle.

About a dozen grieving officers joined Distel's wife and child at the hospital after the crash, which occurred in the unincorporated area of Woodcrest south of Riverside.
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