Funeral of CHP Officer Philip Ortiz in Downtown Los Angeles
Hundreds of law enforcement officers will join with family and friends in downtown Los Angeles today for the funeral of California Highway Patrol Officer Philip Ortiz, who died 13 days after being struck during a traffic stop on the San Diego (405) Freeway.
Ortiz, 48, died at 5:50 p.m. June 22 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
He had been in a coma since he was struck by a motorist June 9 on the northbound 405 near National Boulevard.
Ortiz had pulled over the driver of a Honda sport utility vehicle when an Infiniti sedan whose driver had pulled onto the shoulder to bypass slower traffic to get to an off-ramp plowed into the motorcycle, SUV and officer.
The impact mangled the BMW motorcycle and knocked the SUV onto its side.
Paramedics had to free Ortiz from the wreckage.
The CHP has not concluded its investigation of the crash, but the driver of the Infiniti was identified as Brandon David Brown, 31, of Compton.
He has not been arrested or charged.
Ortiz spent 28 years with the CHP and had been assigned to the West Los Angeles Area office for more than 20 years.
His funeral at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels will be open to the public.
Ortiz’s family issued a statement shortly after his death thanking the public for their support.
“During Philip’s 28 years with the CHP, Philip cherished his public service and took pride in serving the citizens of the state of California. We would especially like to thank and acknowledge the entire California Highway Patrol family for their unyielding support and extraordinary public service,’ according to the statement.
“We ask that you continue to pray for all public safety employees.’
Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will preside over the funeral Mass.
Ortiz was one of five CHP officers to die in the line of duty in the last two months. On May 7, CHP pilot Danny Benavides, 39, was killed in a plane crash in the Imperial Valley.
On June 11, Officer Tom Coleman, 33, was killed when he slammed his motorcycle into a big rig during a pursuit in Redlands.
On Sunday, Officer Justin McGrory, 28, was killed in a freeway crash in Barstow.
Later that day, Officer Brett Oswald, 47, was struck and killed in Paso Robles while attending to an abandoned vehicle.
“No words can describe the loss felt by our department and the families of these fallen heroes,’ CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said.
“As we mourn their recent loss, our brave and dedicated officers vow to honor the memory of
their fallen comrades by continuing to carry out the CHP’s mission of providing the highest level of safety, service and security to the motoring public.’ – CNS