PALMDALE (CBSLA) — A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer who was struck by a motorist making a U-turn has died of his injuries, the CHP announced Wednesday.
Officer Andy Ornelas, 27, sustained multiple injuries and was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital immediately after the Nov. 23 crash.READ MORE: Homeless Man Charged With Arson In Palisades Fire
“For the last nine days, Andy has valiantly fought to stay alive, but despite his efforts, the tireless work of medical staff, and the continual support of family, friends and the Antelope Valley squad, Andy succumbed to his injuries early this morning,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement.
Ornelas, a four-year veteran of the CHP, was on duty and on his way on State Route 14 to help motorists involved in an unrelated crash just after 7 p.m. that night. Another motorist did not see the CHP motorcycle approaching from behind, and pulled out from the right shoulder to make a U-turn directly into Ornelas’ path, according to Ray.READ MORE: Bridge Work Will Close Paramount Blvd. In Downey
Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state capitol’s flags will be flown at half-staff in honor of Ornelas.
“California is grateful for Officer Ornelas’ dedication to carrying on his family’s tradition of public service and honors his work to keep our communities safe,” he said in a statement.
Ornelas had been assigned to the Antelope Valley area since December 2019. He followed in the footsteps of his mother, Kellie, who is a retired CHP officer from the same Antelope Valley Area office and his father, Arturo, a motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, according to the commissioner. He becomes the 232nd officer to die in the line of duty in the CHP’s 91-year history.MORE NEWS: Orange County Qualifies To Move Into Least-Restrictive Yellow Tier
Ornelas is survived by his wife, Taylor, a brother, Cody, who is a CHP officer assigned to Central Los Angeles Area office, his sister Nikki, and his uncle, retired CHP Captain Andreas Ornelas.