LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was killed Thursday in a crash in the Lakewood area, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
Villanueva identified the deputy as 41-year-old Thomas Albanese. He joined the department in 2013.
The crash happened at about 9 a.m. near Del Amo and Paramount boulevards. The crash appeared to happen in the middle of the intersection and involve at least one other car, a silver Mercedes-Benz sedan.
A witness described the aftermath of the crash he saw while working at a nearby auto parts shop.
“I saw the motorbike, and I saw the shotgun in pieces,” said Vince Garfias, who ran over to help. “I saw him in his uniform.”
The driver of the Mercedes-Benz was taken to a hospital and is in unknown condition.
Villanueva later confirmed the death appeared to be an accident.
Prior to his career with the Sheriff’s Department, Albanese served in the Marine Corps, from March 2001 through March 2010, including four tours in Iraq.
“Thomas touched the lives of many people while working in the Department. He received several commendations for his work in patrol and helping the citizens of Los Angeles County,” Villanueva said.
Albanese is survived by his wife of 12 years, Erica, and two young boys.