Two CHP officers die in car crash

Officers Brian Law and Juan Gonzalez crashed while trying to avoid pedestrians on Highway 99.
KINGSBURG, CA - The California Highway Patrol is mourning the loss of two of its officers, who crashed their patrol car while trying to avoid pedestrians on Highway 99 early Monday morning.

"We received multiple 911 calls of an additional crash involving a CHP unit," said Capt. Dave Paris of the CHP Fresno division. "We responded and discovered the tragedy at hand. California Highway Patrol members uniformed and non-uniformed alike, have been suffering a very severe loss today."

Officers Brian Law and Juan Gonzalez were dispatched at 6 a.m. to a collision blocking northbound lanes on Highway 99 in Kingsburg by exit 112 Sierra Street. They arrived to find the collision actually occurred in the southbound lanes they were traveling in. Captain Paris said Gonzalez lost control of the Ford Crown Victoria patrol car while trying to avoid hitting the people involved in the collision.

"The officers took evasive action to avoid striking any of the parties of the previous collision, lost control of the vehicle, struck the guardrail and severely crashed," said Captain Paris. "Both officers received fatal injuries instantaneously as a result of this collision."

The southbound lanes of Highway 99 were closed for an accident reconstruction team to work the case.

The last time a CHP officer died in a traffic accident was December 21, 2005. Officer Erick Manny died while pursuing a suspect. Manny lost control of his patrol car and crashed on I-5 near the Grapevine. The suspect was never caught.

Officer Law was 34 years old and is survived by his wife and three children. Officer Gonzalez was 33 and is survived by his mother and sister.

In honor of the officers, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

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Bakersfield, CA