A procession passed through Santa Clarita Wednesday afternoon for Andy Ornelas, a California Highway Patrol Officer who died a week after a motorcycle crash in Lancaster.
On Monday, Nov. 23 around 7:05 p.m. CHP Antelope Valley Officer Ornelas was involved in a crash after a pick-up truck made a U-turn in front of his motorcycle, said Officer Monique Mischeaux, spokesperson for the Antelope CHP office.
A week after the crash on Dec. 2, Ornelas succumbed to his injuries, according to Mischeaux.
“On behalf of the entire CHP family, my thoughts are with Andy’s loved ones, the members of the Antelope Valley squad, and all who knew him as we all grieve his death and mourn the promising future this young officer had before him,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray in a statement on Wednesday.
First responders from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Fire Department’s as well as CHP officers saluted the fallen officer as a procession passed through the Santa Clarita Valley which started in Lancaster to Downtown Los Angeles.
“Today, the Antelope Valley has lost a hero, AV CHP Officer Andy Ornelas,” said Congressman Mike Garcia on social media. “Rebecca and I are heartbroken by this terrible news, and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Ornelas’s family during this tragic time. The Antelope Valley will have heavy hearts tonight. Let us not ever forget the risks our law enforcement officers take on a daily basis. We must support these heroes. May God bless Officer Ornelas.”
A resident of Quartz Hill was driving a 2012 Ford F-150 towing a utility trailer, eastbound on Avenue N, east of 34th Street West, according to Mischeaux.
Ornelas was on duty, in full uniform, driving a black and white, California Highway Patrol Harley-Davidson motorcycle, eastbound Avenue N, east of 34th Street West.
The driver of the truck reportedly drove past his destination and pulled onto the south dirt shoulder, according to officials.
The driver pulled away from the dirt shoulder to conduct a u-turn, directly into the path of the CHP motorcycle, according to Mischeaux.
Ornelas was transported to the hospital with major injuries before succumbing to his injuries a week later.
Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement Wednesday, saying, “Jennifer and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fellow officers grieving the devastating loss of Officer Ornelas. California is grateful for Officer Ornelas’s dedication to carrying on his family’s tradition of public service and honors his work to keep our communities safe.”
The fallen officer, Ornelas, is survived by his wife, mother, father, brother and sister.
Officer Ornelas was a member of the department for four years.
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