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Truck Driver Who Crashed Into LAPD Patrol Car, Killing Officer, Pleads No Contest

A driver who lost control of his truck and crashed into an LAPD patrol car, killing a well-liked veteran officer, pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter on Wednesday.

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Officer Nicholas Lee was killed in a collision in Beverly Hills on March 7, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Robert Maldonado’s plea under an agreement with prosecutors makes him eligible to have a felony crime reduced to a misdemeanor, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Maldonado, 48, was charged in the March 7, 2014, crash that killed 40-year-old Officer Nicholas Lee of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division. Another officer in the car was injured.

Maldonado was driving his dump truck down steep and curving Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills when the brakes failed.

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Officer Nicholas Lee, killed in a collision on March 7, 2014, appeared in a YouTube video made by LAPD in honor of a sick child’s birthday.

Maldonado, who owned the dump truck company, had not properly maintained and inspected the vehicle as required by law, a California Highway Patrol investigation found.

His sentencing is set for April 19, 2018.

He faced up to six years in state prison if convicted as charged prior to the plea deal, the DA’s office said when was charged in 2015.