A vigil was held Friday night to honor a Manhattan Beach motorcycle officer who was killed in a multi-vehicle crash on the 405 Freeway in Carson.
Hundreds of loved ones and community members gathered at the Manhattan Beach Civic Center Plaza to remember fallen officer Chad Swanson, 35.
The deadly crash, which involved four vehicles, occurred on Oct. 4 around 5:15 a.m. on the northbound 405 Freeway near East Del Amo Boulevard, according to the California Highway Patrol.
During the crash, Swanson was struck and ejected off his motorbike, authorities said. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died.
Swanson had been with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 13 years. Colleagues from Manhattan Beach police shared stories about Swanson who was a loving husband and father to three young boys.
“He left such a deep and profound impression on us all that it would be impossible to let him fade,” said Officer Donovan Torres, Swanson’s colleague.
“Just last Sunday, I watched Chad lift kids onto motorcycles at the car show and when it was over, he saw my wife struggling to get back towards the station. He turned around and helped her inside,” recalled Manhattan Beach Police Captain Andrew Enriquez.
Swanson was on his way to work when he was killed in the multi-vehicle wreck. News of his death sent shockwaves across Manhattan Beach, bringing together both those who knew him well and those who didn’t.
“Just a great person,” said Quinn Barrow, Swanson’s colleague. “He personified what you’d want in a police officer.”
“He personally was responsible for saving several lives and helping rescue victims out of that area,” said Manhattan Beach Police Lt. Kelly Benjamin.
“He would take the shirt off his back,” said another friend of Swanson’s. “He was in Route 91 and he went back in to rescue a ton of people so I don’t think there is enough to be said about who he was.”
Friday’s candlelight vigil continued into a sunset procession to the Manhattan Beach Pier which was lit in blue as a firetruck holding an American flag stood at the pier’s entrance, honoring a man who will forever be known as a hero to this community.
“I’ll look for other ways to see you, Chad,” said Enriquez. “You won’t be forgotten and you’ll live on through stories told for generations to come.”
Funeral arrangements for Swanson have not yet been announced. A fundraiser for Swanson’s family has been established by the Peace Officers Research Association of California.