Off-duty LA Police Officer Killed in Freeway Crash

LOS ANGELES -- Authorities say an off-duty Los Angeles police officer died Saturday after his pickup truck hit a guardrail on the 101 Freeway.

Lt. Terri Brinkmeyer says the badly injured officer and the seat he was still belted into were found thrown from the truck Saturday after the single-vehicle crash in Sherman Oaks. Brinkmeyer says he died two hours later at a hospital.

The California Highway Patrol said in a statement that the guardrail penetrated the pickup and shoved the officer and his seat out the rear window.

The coroner's office says the officer was 23-year-old Jose Diance-Cruz of Sylmar, who the LAPD says worked at Southwest Station.

A motorcade of 10 police cars escorted a van carrying Diance-Cruz from the hospital to the coroner.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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