An Antelope Valley California Highway Patrol officer died Wednesday more than a week after he was critically injured in a crash while responding to a call.
The crash occurred about 7 p.m. Nov. 23 when motorcycle Officer Andy Ornelas was on his way to help two people involved in a crash along the 14 Freeway.
Another motorist didn’t see Ornelas’ motorcycle approaching him from behind when the driver pulled from the right shoulder to make a U-turn directly into the officer’s path, according to the CHP.
Ornelas, 27, sustained multiple injuries and was taken to a hospital in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, officials said.
The four-year veteran of the department is survived by his wife, parents, brother and sister.
Ornelas came from a law enforcement family: his mother is a retired CHP officer at the station where he worked; his father is a motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department; his brother is a CHP officer in the Central Los Angeles area office; and his uncle is a retired CHP captain.
In a statement, CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said she was “profoundly saddened” about Ornelas’ death.
“On behalf of the entire CHP family, my thoughts are with Andy’s loved ones, the members of the Antelope Valley squad, and all who knew him as we all grieve his death and mourn the promising future this young officer had before him,” the statement read. “We will never forget his service and the ultimate sacrifice he made on behalf of all Californians.”
A procession was held for Ornelas from Antelope Valley Hospital to Los Angeles.
Flags at the Capitol in Sacramento will be flown half-staff in Orenelas’ honor, according to a statement from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.
“California is grateful for Officer Ornelas’s dedication to carrying on his family’s tradition of public service and honors his work to keep our communities safe,” Newsom said.
A memorial fund has been established in honor of Officer Ornelas, with donations going to his wife.