LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Authorities say an off-duty Los Angeles police officer has been killed in a two-vehicle crash that left three others injured in Ventura County.
Cmdr. Robert Brill of the Simi Valley Police Department says the officer was a passenger in one of two vehicles that collided at an intersection shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday.
The deceased was identified by a watch commander with the department as 30-year-old Heather Monroe.
The crash occurred just after 2:10, authorities said.
One of the vehicles involved in the crash was driven by Uber.
Sunday Uber made the following statement:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer’s family, the LAPD, and the law enforcement community. We are thankful police have confirmed our driver partner and her passenger were not seriously injured and wish everyone involved a speedy recovery.”
Brill says the cause of the crash is under investigation. It is believed one of the vehicles ran a red light.
CBS2’s Tina Patel reported from Simi Valley and spoke to people who knew Monroe.
When LAPD volunteer Bill Cotter heard that an off-duty officer had been killed he kept hoping it was someone he didn’t know.
“You find out it’s someone you spent so much time with, it’s really tough,” he said.
Cotter noted that Monroe was particularly kind to the homeless.
“She had a special flair for not dehumanizing them,” he said, “treating them as people with problems and not just numbers.”
“When you’re riding with them,” said Cotter,choking up, “you”re always thinking that, God forbid, something happens to them. But you don’t think it’s going to be an accident.”
Patel also spoke to Jesus Torres. He was walking nearby the crash scene and was able to pull Monroe out of the vehicle.
“I tried to do CPR,” Torres said, “but it’s been so long, it’s been around 30 years since I did anything like that. I tried to give her some breath, all I could do was put my hand on her chest and pray.”
Monroe’s colleagues told KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo that she was always smiling and upbeat. Many of them put candles and flowers at the location where she was killed.
The LAPD issued a statement saying that losing an officer is devastating, especially when it happens during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.
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