A motorcycle officer with the Manhattan Beach Police Department died Wednesday morning in a multi-vehicle crash on the 405 Freeway in Carson.
The crash, which involved four vehicles, occurred at about 5:15 a.m. on the northbound 405 Freeway near East Del Amo Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“At this time, it looks like a vehicle may have been traveling at an unsafe speed and possibly conducted an unsafe lane change,” CHP Lt. Steve Carapia said. “Unfortunately, the officer was struck and ejected off of his motorbike.”
The officer, identified as Chad Swanson, 35, was taken to a local hospital where he died.
Swanson had been with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 13 years.
“He’s survived by his wife, three very little boys, his mother and father, as well as many other family members,” Lt. Kelly Benjamin said at a news conference.
A fundraiser for Swanson’s family has been established by the Peace Officers Research Association of California.
Authorities have not determined if Swanson was on duty at the time of the crash, the CHP said.
“He personally was responsible for saving several lives and helping rescue victims out of that area,” Benjamin said.
Wednesday’s crash forced the closure of the northbound 405 Freeway, causing traffic backups that impacted other Los Angeles area freeways and surface streets throughout the morning.
“It’s going to be a long investigation,” Carapia said. “We have our specialized unit out here, flying their drones and collecting evidence to determine what exactly happened. At this time, we still haven’t determined which vehicle hit who and what, but that will be [determined] through our investigation. We don’t want to rush this.”
Another crash victim was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries, the CHP said.
“Our beloved officer exemplified courage, and his impact reached far beyond the precinct, touching the lives of those who had the privilege of working alongside him,” Manhattan Beach Police Chief Rachel Johnson said in a statement. “His absence leaves an indelible void with our tight-knit law enforcement family and the community he served.”
Alexis Lewis contributed to this report.