CHP Officer Killed by Suspected DUI Driver on Interstate 15 in Southern California

April 7, 2019 Updated: April 7, 2019

A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer was struck and killed by a suspected DUI driver on Interstate 15 near Lake Elsinore, officials said.

The crash took place at around 4:30 p.m. on April 6. The officer was sent to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries, reported NBC Los Angeles.

Update: Sergeant Steve Licon has been identified as the CHP officer killed on the 15 Freeway.Breaking: A CHP motorcycle officer has been struck and killed on the I-15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore.

Posted by NBC LA on Saturday, April 6, 2019

The CHP identified the officer who died as Riverside Sgt. Steve Licon, who had been on the police force, according to the report.

Before the accident, Licon was conducting a traffic stop when a gray Toyota Carolla crashed into his motorcycle, the CHP said.

Our hearts are heavy after the immeasurable loss of a friend, father, husband, and hero. Sergeant Steve Licon, #13348,…

Posted by California Highway Patrol on Saturday, April 6, 2019

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Sergeant Licon’s family as they grieve with us during this difficult time,” the CHP said in a statement.

“Our hearts are heavy after the immeasurable loss of a friend, father, husband, and hero,” the CHP also said on Facebook.

“Rest easy brother, we have the watch from here.”

“Sgt Licon was a great leader, valued member of the CHP family, & a dedicated public servant who sacrificed his life serving the people of Calif. Condolences to wife Ann, & daughters Marissa & Kelly,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley wrote.

Three people in all were hurt during the crash, and they were all transported to the hospital in unknown condition, according to the report.

“Just as we ride to honor officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice, we mourn the loss of another. Sgt Steve Licon of the CHP Riverside Area gave his life protecting & serving his community today. The thoughts & prayers of the LAPD are w/ his family & fellow officers tonight,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michael Moore tweeted.

The incident took place on I-15 near Indian Truck Trail and Nichols Road, KTLA reported.

Details about the crash were not provided to local news outlets.

Traffic Stops Dangerous for Police

In recent weeks, there have been several dramatic instances of police getting involved in shootouts or getting into dangerous situations with suspects during traffic stops.

On Sept. 18, a sheriff’s office in Colorado posted footage of a man rolling out of a stopped vehicle, pointing a gun at officers. “As he continued to advance out of the vehicle deputies shot [him] multiple times, fatally wounding him,” the office said.

The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (pdf) said traffic stops are notoriously dangerous for police officers in the United States. The leading causes for officers being shot and killed in 2017 occurred when they were responding to domestic incidents and while conducting traffic stops, the group’s annual report states.

And, according to the most recent figures published by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, “A greater percentage of male drivers (12 percent) than female drivers (8 percent) were stopped by police during 2011.” It adds: “In 2011, about 3 percent of traffic stops led to a search of the driver, the vehicle, or both. Police were more likely to search male drivers (4 percent) than female drivers (2 percent).”

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