For the second time in a week — and the fourth time in two months — the Los Angeles Police Department was in mourning after one of their own was killed in a traffic collision.
The latest fatal crash occurred when a cement truck collided with a vehicle being driven by an off-duty detective Friday afternoon in the 1000 block of Loma Vista Drive (map) on Friday afternoon — the same steep, curvy Beverly Hills street where a collision claimed the life of an LAPD officer two months earlier.
The detective was identified as Detective Ernest L. Allen Sr. of the LAPD’s Southwest Division, a news release from the LAPD stated on Saturday.
“I was stunned into disbelief when I got the phone call and they gave the location. I asked, I called back, I drove out here myself, and I still didn’t believe it. It’s just too horrific for words,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference on Friday.
The incident marked the fourth time an LAPD officer died in a traffic collision since March 7, when Officer Nicholas Lee was killed some 25 yards from the spot of Friday’s crash, according to Beck.
Officer Roberto Sanchez was killed last Saturday after an SUV crashed into a patrol car that was pursing another vehicle in Harbor City.
Officer Chris Cortijo died on April 9, four days after his motorcycle was struck by an alleged DUI driver in Sun Valley.
Additionally, the department was also mourning the death of Officer George Nagata, a 33-year veteran who passed away from a medical condition on May 3.
“This is a tough business and a tough life, and we have to deal with tragedy,” Beck said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed his condolences in a statement, saying it was a difficult time for those in the LAPD.
“The city is still reeling from the recent death of three on-duty LAPD officers, and my heart aches at the death today of yet another of our officers,” Garcetti said.
On Friday, Beck wouldn’t identify Allen, but said he had more than 25 years experience in the force and that he personally knew him.
“I have known him for several decades. He’s a fine family man and he will be sorely missed by his friends and by the members of the Los Angeles Police Department,” Beck said.
Allen, a 27-year LAPD veteran, had previously worked in the 77th Street, Wilshire and Rampart divisions, according to the release.
He is survived by his his mother, two children, two grandchildren, a sister and his fiancé.
The collision that killed Allen occurred shortly before 2 p.m., Beverly Hills Police Department Sgt. Max Subin said.
It appeared the cement truck, which was traveling downhill and southbound, lost control and crossed the double-yellow line before it crashed into the Allen’s personal vehicle, according to Beck.
The driver of the cement truck was hospitalized, according to Subin.
The street where the crash occurred has a runaway truck ramp at the bottom and is notoriously steep and dangerous.
Friday’s incident marked the third serious collision on the street in two months. It came exactly one week after a cement truck lost control, collided with multiple parked vehicles and overturned on the roadway.
“These are heavy loads and, when they come down this hill, they lose control because the brakes don’t hold,” Beverly Hills police Chief David Snowden said.
In the wake of the latest crash, a 30-day moratorium on heavy traffic would be placed on the street, Snowden announced at the news conference on Friday.
KTLA’s Melissa Pamer contributed to this report.