An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was killed today at nearly the same spot where Nicholas Lee died on patrol two months ago, LAPD's Rosario Herrera told us. Five of her fellow officers have died since March.
Chief Charlie Beck was en route to the scene of the the accident in the 1000 block of Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, which is near the border with the department's Hollywood Division, where Lee worked.
The accident was reported …
… at about 1:53 p.m. today, the city of Beverly Hills stated.
An L.A. Fire Department rescue crew was called to the scene to offer mutual aid to Beverly Hills authorities, said the LAFD's Katherine Main.
The deaths of both officers involved heavy trucks on a steep street. Today a cement truck appeared to have crushed the pickup in which the off-duty cop was either driving or riding.
Lee was in a patrol car that was hit by a construction-oriented truck in early March.
Three other LAPD officers have died recently – one, George S. Nagata Jr., reportedly as a result of health issues; another, Roberto Sanchez, in a police pursuit Saturday; and yet another, Chris Cortijo, after he was struck by an alleged DUI driver as he sat on his patrol motorcycle.
Beverly Hills officials say this is the third accident involving a “heavy haul truck” on Loma Vista. According to a city statement:
This is the third accident on Loma Vista involving a heavy haul truck in the past two months. On Friday, March 7, a Los Angeles Police officer was killed and his partner injured when a runaway truck collided with a patrol car. On Friday, May 2, 2014, a cement truck was traveling southbound Loma Vista Drive when it struck several parked cars along Loma Vista Drive. The truck driver sustained non – life threatening injuries.
The City of Beverly Hills is aware of the concerns from the community regarding commercial vehicles traveling along Loma Vista Drive and surrounding streets. This is a critical public safety issue, which the Beverly Hills Police Department and other City departments are aggressively working together to mitigate future accidents. The police department has significantly stepped up traffic enforcement and commercial vehicle enforcement efforts in the Trousdale area since the beginning of the year. They have also deployed two speed radar trailers on Loma Vista.
[Updated at 5:35 p.m.]: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti released this statement:
The city is still reeling from the recent death of three on-duty LAPD officers, and my heart aches at the death today of yet another of our officers. Amy's and my thoughts are with his family and everyone in the Los Angeles Police Department. This is a difficult time for our men and women in blue, and the whole city joins them in mourning the loss of these heroes.
[Added at 6:14 p.m.]: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference that the cop was a detective and 25-year veteran of the department. He might have been working a second job when the collision took place.