LAGUNA BEACH ( — A Laguna Beach motor police officer was killed in a crash on South Coast Highway late Saturday evening, authorities said.

Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon Coutchie was responding to a “reckless driving call” when he was involved in a collision with a Chevrolet pickup truck at the intersection of South Coast Highway at Cleo Street, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident happened about 11:34 p.m.

Investigators said the 42-year-old Coutchie was traveling at a high rate of speed. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had time to put on his warning signals.

Fellow officers draped an American flag over the body of Coutchie, who was declared dead at the scene.

Authorities said the driver of the truck was cooperating fully with the investigation. Police do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

Born in Tucson, Arizona, Coutchie grew up in Orange County, graduating from Laguna Hills High School in 1989.

After completing the Goldenwest Police Academy, Coutchie was sworn in as an officer in 2009.

Prior to that, he had completed two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reported.

The department says Coutchie was selected to serve as a motor officer, a coveted position, in March of 2013.

Coutchie is survived by his mother, father, brother, step-sister, and girlfriend.

Police said the department has not experienced a line-of-duty death since 1953.

All Capitol flags will fly at half-staff in Coutchie’s honor.

Governor Jerry Brown also made a statement about the officer’s passing.

“Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to Officer Coutchie’s loved ones. As we mourn the loss of Officer Coutchie, we commit to honoring his service and remembering his sacrifice,” said Brown.


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