LOS ANGELES – An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who was driving home from work overnight died early Saturday after crashing into the back of a semi-truck that was stalled in traffic on the 210 Freeway in Glendora.
The collision occurred about 2:30 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of the 210 Freeway near Grand Avenue. The California Highway Patrol said a semi-truck being driven by Michael John Denmon, 51, became disabled in the number three lane of traffic after stopping for several minutes due to a prior traffic collision up ahead on the freeway. The CHP was already nearby conducting a crash investigation when the off-duty LAPD officer struck the disable truck from behind, KTLA reported.
According to the CHP, Denmon had activated his emergency hazard lights in order to warn traffic approaching from behind him.
“Upon arriving on scene, CHP personnel determined that it was a major injury collision,” said CHP Sergeant Joel Holly. “At this point, the initial cause for the collision is still under investigation, however it appears that a rear end was involved.”
A short time after KTLA broadcast the story, LAPD identified the deceased off-duty officer as Baldemar Sandoval, 38, who worked out of of LAPD’s Central Division.
In a tweet, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the department is grieving “our loss of a Peacemaker.”
“With great sadness, I share that earlier this morning, a police officer on his way home from work was involved in a traffic collision on the 210 Freeway,” Chief Moore said in a statement. “I send my deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and friends as we mourn this tragedy.”
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) April 15, 2023
Sandoval’s body was escorted to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office by his peers on Saturday morning. Fellow law enforcement personnel were visibly shaken as the officer’s body, draped in an American flag, was removed from the coroner’s van and into the office.