Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > Topics > Safety
March 08, 2014

Los Angeles officer killed in crash with big rig

The veteran officer was killed and his rookie partner was critically injured when their patrol car collided with a big rig; the truck driver was also injured

The Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A veteran Los Angeles police officer was killed and his rookie partner was critically injured Friday when their patrol car collided with a big rig on a residential street. The truck driver also was injured.

The Hollywood division officers were responding to a call of unknown trouble when the "catastrophic" collision occurred, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

The circumstances of the 8 a.m. crash in an area of narrow, curving residential streets were under investigation.

The county coroner's office identified the slain officer as Nicholas Choung Lee, 40.

Lee, a 16-year veteran, left behind a wife and two young daughters, the LAPD said.

"Nick was a great cop. His hard work, dedication and leadership helped mold young police officers into law enforcement professionals," Beck said.

Lee was training a rookie who was only three months out of the police academy when their cruiser collided with a truck hauling a trash container and carrying a Bobcat loader down a steep road, authorities said.

The patrol car was torn apart and practically demolished in the crash.

The truck, which wound up on its side, may have lost its brakes on the hill, Beck said.

The driver and the rookie were both injured but will survive, he said.

"She is alert, in considerable pain" but didn't require surgery, the chief said. "She has a tremendous heart. She is determined to recover from her injuries."

The driver was hospitalized in serious condition, authorities said.

Police Commission President Steve Soboroff visited the injured officer in the hospital, where she was surrounded by friends and family.

"She was wearing a neck brace and she said she had a concussion and she had some bruises on her face and she's remarkably lucid," he said. "Everyone in the room feels that she is the luckiest unlucky person in the world" for surviving the horrendous crash, Soboroff said.

"She's strong and she's going to make it through this," Mayor Eric Garcetti said. He ordered city flags lowered to half-staff to honor Lee.

"We grieve a hero this morning, an officer who gave his life in the service of Los Angeles," Garcetti said.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m., police officers moved a flag-covered gurney carrying the officer's body from the accident scene to an ambulance between long rows of saluting officers. A circle of firefighters, their helmets doffed in respect, watched beside a fire engine.

Lee's body was taken to the coroner's office, where it again passed through lines of saluting colleagues.

Associated PressCopyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Although the crash site at Robert Lane and Loma Vista Drive is in the city of Beverly Hills, it is immediately adjacent to sections of Los Angeles. The area is close to the landmark Greystone Mansion, a 1920s estate built by an oil tycoon.

Comments
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EMS1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Eric Simioli Eric Simioli Monday, March 10, 2014 7:47:31 PM If he was going to or coming from a local delivery or job he is exempt from the weight limit. The limit is also mainly for sound ordinance.
Wayland Slater Wayland Slater Sunday, March 16, 2014 5:14:30 PM Definitely, that kind of truck should NOT have been on that type of street regardless of brake conditions. My prayers and condolences go out to Officer Lee's family and friends. And to the "rookie" partner, for strength and determination. Hope her pain eases up quickly. But can you imagine the fear she must have felt as that truck was heading towards them, and how she felt when she found out that Off. Lee was dead? That has got to make you feel helpless. I hope they watch her for PTSD at a very early stage. She hopefully will have a long and successful career.

Sponsored by

We Recommend...

Connect with EMS1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 EMS eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample

Online Campus Both

Safety Videos