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Calif. governor honors CHP officers killed in crash

Gov. Jerry Brown led an array of public officials and law enforcement agencies who offered their condolences

By Matt Stevens and Ari Bloomekatz
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Gov. Jerry Brown led an array of public officials and law enforcement agencies who offered their condolences after two California Highway Patrol officers were killed in a car crash near Fresno early Monday morning.

The two officers  Juan Gonzalez, 33, and Brian Law, 34  were responding to radio calls about a collision when their own car careened into a guardrail on the 99 Freeway near Kingsburg, killing them instantly, officials said.

"Anne and I extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of Officers Law and Gonzalez as they mourn the tragic loss of these dedicated public servants," Brown said in a statement, ordering that flags at the state Capitol be flown at half-staff.

"We join all Californians in honoring these officers for their courage, commitment and service," he added.

Top law enforcement officials also issued statements expressing their sympathy.

"The deaths of officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law are a deep loss for all of our law enforcement community," said state Atty.

Gen. Kamala D. Harris. "Their commitment to serve will never be forgotten, and their sacrifice will forever be honored by the people of California and the brave men and women of the California Highway Patrol."

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck sent out a Twitter message saying that "The men & women of #LAPD are praying for our #CHP family & their loved ones. Tragic loss of 2 officers @CHPcastrovalley #RIP"

Around 6 a.m. Monday, Gonzalez and Law received radio calls indicating that a collision had occurred on the northbound 99 Freeway. But as they approached the scene, traveling south from Fresno, they discovered the collision was actually on their side of the freeway, blocking lanes, with a pedestrian outside of a vehicle, CHP Capt. Dave Paris said.

"The officers took evasive action to avoid striking any of the parties from the previous collision, lost control of the vehicle, struck the guard rail, and severely crashed," he said. "No other cars were struck by the Highway Patrol vehicle."

A CHP spokesman said on Monday that the agency's "members, uniform and non-uniform alike, are suffering a very severe loss today."

Copyright 2014 the Los Angeles Times


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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