Bakersfield Police Officer Dies in Fiery Pursuit Crash

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A Bakersfield police officer died early Friday after he crashed into a wall during a vehicle pursuit, officials said.

“A mother and father lost their son, too young to have been taken,” police dispatcher Alison Webb said. “A best friend is figuring out how to move forward without someone who’s always been there. Fellow officers lost a brother who understood them more than anyone ever could.” (Credit: Bakersfield Police Department)

Two other officers reached Officer David Nelson, 26, in his burning police cruiser about 2:40 a.m. and pulled him from the wreckage just before flames spread to the passenger compartment, according to Bakersfield police Sgt. Joe Grubbs. He was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he died.

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris offered condolences to Nelson’s family, saying he “bravely gave his life in service of his community and the state of California.”

“On behalf of the California Department of Justice, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family, his loved ones, and the entire Bakersfield Police Department,” she said. “The state of California and our law enforcement family will be forever grateful for his dedicated service.”

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