IRWINDALE >> A crash between a motorcycle and a car in Irwindale early Sunday claimed the lives of both the motorcyclist and the driver of the car, authorities said.
The crash took place about 12:30 a.m. in the 14900 block of Los Angeles Street, east of Maine Avenue, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said in a written statement.
“Irwindale Police Department officers responded to the scene and found that a motorcyclist had been traveling eastbound in the No. 1 lane of Los Angeles Street when it collided with a white Toyota Scion that had been making a left turn out of the parking lot of a nearby business,” Gatto said.
The motorcycle collided with the driver-side door of the Scion as the car was exiting the parking lot of AMVETS post 113 and turning onto westbound Los Angeles Street, Sgt. John Fraijo said.
Paramedics pronounced the both the motorcyclist and the driver of the Scion dead at the scene, Fraijo said.
The motorcyclist was identified as Erick Medin Del Rio, 22, of Baldwin Park, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator A. Lopez said.
Officials identified the driver of the Scion as 38-year-old Oscar Pena of Ontario.
A woman riding as a passenger in the Scion was taken to a trauma center for treatment, according to the sergeant. An update on her condition was not available.
Gatto said the cause of the crash remained under investigation.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, is urged to contact the Irwindale Police Department Detective Bureau at 626-430-2245.
BALDWIN PARK >> Two men chased down a big rig to Irwindale after it was stolen in Baldwin Park Wednesday, but the thief escaped with the help of a knife-wielding accomplice who spirited him away in a getaway car, officials said.
The chain of events began about 11:50 a.m. with the report of a big rig being stolen in the 15200 block of Arrow Highway, just west of Azusa Canyon Road, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Joshua Hendricks said.
A co-owner of the truck and a man in his friend, both men in their 20s, saw the truck drive off, he said. They called police and followed behind the stolen big rig in another car.
The truck became stuck in traffic on Irwindale Avenue at the 210 Freeway in Irwindale, officials said. The driver of the just-stolen big rig reversed the truck and rammed his pursuers. No injuries were reported, and the damage to the car was described as minor.
The victims exited their car and tried to grab the truck thief, but an accomplice showed up and brandished a knife before both suspects fled in a gray BMW sedan, Hendricks said.
Detailed descriptions of the suspects were not available.
The investigation was being handled by Irwindale police, Hendricks said. Irwindale police Sgt. Rene Sapien declined to discuss the case, referring inquiries back to Baldwin Park police.
IRWINDALE >> A small Southern California police department’s colorful effort to combat breast cancer has spread like wildfire, with 44 police agencies from across the region and the nation now joining the campaign by trading their traditional shoulder patches for bright pink versions.
Police are staffing a “Pink Patch Project” booth during the L.A. County Fair at the Fairplex in Pomona this month, where guests can purchase T-shirts, challenge coins, and of course, pink police department patches offered by the dozens of participating agencies, according Irwindale Police Sgt. Rudy Gatto.
The project has been well-received by fellow police officers and the public, Gatto said.
“In just three days at the L.A. County Fair, we have raised upwards of $10,000, (and) that’s just at the fair,” the sergeant said.
Proceeds from the memorabilia sales are being donated to fund cancer research, treatment and education, officials said.
Irwindale police first donned their pink patches and made them available for purchase by the public last year. The Irwindale Department was inspired by the Seal Beach Police Department, which gave officers pink patches in 2013 to stimulate conversation and raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“That year, the Irwindale Police Department raised over $20,000 for City of Hope,” Irwindale police said in a written statement.
This year, the department reached out to expand the project, Gatto explained. About 20 agencies from the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association initially joined in, followed by another two-dozen who heard of the project largely via social media outreach.
In addition to dozens of Southern California police agencies, departments as far away as New Mexico and New Jersey have joined the effort by sporting pink. A police sergeant from the Lyndhurst Police Department in New Jersey planned to visit the Punk Patch Project booth at the L.A. County Fair on Sunday, Gatto said.
During Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, officers in participating agencies wear the pink patches in lieu of their usual ones.
The Pink Patch Project is also come as a boon for law enforcement patch collectors, who have seen more and more department’s stop selling their normal department patches to the public in recent years over safety concerns.
For more information, including a list of participating agencies and how to purchase their patches and other memorabilia, visit www.pinkpatchproject.com.
PHOTOS: [ABOVE] Glendora police officials staff the Pink Patch Project booth at the L.A. County Fair in Pomona on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. Forty-four police departments from across Southern California and the nation are participating in the Irwindale Police Department’s Pink Patch Project to raise funds and awareness to combat breast cancer. (Courtesy) [BELOW} Pink Patch Project patches. (Courtesy)
IRWINDALE >> A dump truck driver discovered a man’s body mixed in with a load of dirt after depositing the load at the Manning Pit in just outside of Irwindale Friday morning, authorities said.
The discovery was made about 9 a.m. at the dump site along Vincent Avenue, just south of Arrow Highway, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Irwindale, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
He said one of the truck drivers dropping off dirt at Manning Pit saw the body. The body was lying face up.
Irwindale police summoned the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau to take over the investigation.
“When the truck driver dumped the dirt in a quarry in the 5100 block of Vincent Avenue in the county area of Irwindale, he discovered the victim’s body mixed in with the dirt,” Deputy Ryan Rouzan said of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
The man was initially described only as 20 to 30 years old. His identity was not released Friday pending positive identification by crooner’s officials and notification of his family.
“There doesn’t appear to be any trauma to the victim and no foul play is suspected at this time,” he said.
But exactly when, where and how the man ended up in the back of the dump truck remained a mystery Friday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said.
Detectives determined the dump truck had visited a downtown Los Angeles about 7:45 a.m. and picked up a load of dirt from a building construction site, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said. The specific location of the construction site was not available.
One grisly possibility being investigated was that the man had been inadvertently buries alive
“It’s possible the victim may have climbed into the back of the dump truck without anyone knowing and the dirt was dumped on top of him,” Rouzan said.
No workers from the Los Angeles construction site had been reported missing, Rouzan said.
No further details were available.
The dump site continued operating as homicide detectives and coroner’s officials conducted their investigation Friday morning and afternoon.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
- Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales
PHOTOS by Mike Mullen
IRWINDALE >> The death of a man found dead in the San Gabriel riverbed in Irwindale last weekend has been ruled a suicide, coroner’s officials said.
The body of the man, whose identity has not been released, was discovered about 11 a.m. Sunday beneath a bridge in the riverbed along Rivergrade Road, near the 605 Freeway, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
Foul play was not initially suspected, however the man’s cause of death was not apparent, officials said. Sheriff’s homicide detectives joined Irwindale police and coroner’s officials in the investigation.
An autopsy revealed that the man died as a result of jumping from the bridge, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Chief of Operations Brian Elias said. He died from “blunt force injuries,” and the death as ruled a suicide.
Coroner’s officials withheld the man’s name pending notification of family.
IRWINDALE >> Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a man whose body was discovered in the San Gabriel riverbed in in Irwindale Sunday, authorities said.
The death was first reported shortly after 11 a.m. along Rivergrade Road, near the 605 Freeway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Kimberly Alexander said in a written statement.
Investigators from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are helping Irwindale police with the investigation.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Bernard Peters said Irwindale police first found the body in the riverbed and summoned firefighters to the scene.
“The victim was pronounced dead at the scene,” Alexander said.
The man’s identity was not released pending positive identification and notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. He was initially estimated to be in his 50s.
The cause of death was unclear, and was to be determined through an autopsy, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said.
“There’s no obvious signs of foul play.”
Irwindale police officials did not return calls seeking comment.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
IRWINDALE >> Police in Irwindale established a new “safe zone” Thursday to provide those engaging in online commerce, as well as child custody exchanges, a secure and monitored place to conduct their business in front of the police station.
The “E-Commerce and Child Exchange Safe Zone” allows residents to meet with buyers or purchasers to complete online transaction, as well as take care of sometimes-contentious child custody exchanges between separated parents at the station, 5050 N. Irwindale Ave., Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
“Transactions that start online but must be completed in person have become more common in recent years and most times the parties are strangers,” police said in a written statement. “E-commerce sales were estimated at $341.7 billion in 2015, up 14.6 percent from the year before.”
“The E-Commerce Safe Zone will consist of two designated parking stalls in front of the Irwindale Police Station,” according to the statement. “The parking stalls will be designated by signage and a painted green curb, where parties can finalize their e-commerce transactions with less concern of being robbed, scammed, seriously injured, and or killed.”
If the other party involved in an online transaction is unwilling to meet at the police station, Zendejas said that may be a “red flag” that the transaction may be less than legitimate.
The special parking spaces, which are under 24-hour video surveillance monitored live by police dispatchers, will also serve as a secure, neutral place for separated parents to relinquish custody of their children for visitations.
The cost of the program amounted to $35, Zendejas said.
PHOTO courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.
IRWINDALE >> As they have done each year for more than a decade, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on Friday spent 24 hours standing in silent, stoic tribute to fellow deputy David March at the site where he was murdered 14 years ago.
March, a 33-year-old deputy assigned to the sheriff’s Temple City Station, was shot to death in the line of duty on April 29, 2002, along Live Oak Avenue, just east of Peck Road. A permanent memorial to March stands at the roadside.
Deputies stood motionless in pairs in half-hour increments before ceremoniously switching positions with two other deputies. The process continued from midnight Friday morning to midnight Saturday morning.
Sheriff’s Temple Station Capt. Coronne Jacob and her husband, sheriff’s Sgt. Andy Jacob, took the first shift, Sgt. Jim Dexter said.
Visitors ranging from family members of the slain deputy to high-ranking officials from the sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agencies stopped by to pay their respects.
March’s killer, previously convicted felon and four-time deportee Jorge Arroyo Garcia, also known as Armando Garcia, fled to Mexico within 24 hours of the fatal shooting and remained a fugitive until he was arrested in 2006. Garcia was returned to the U.S. to face trial, and pleaded guilty in 2007 to murder, with the special allegations of intentionally killing a peace officer in the line of duty and using a gun in the crime. He is now serving life without parole in state prison.
When Garcia was returned to the U.S. to face justice, deputies cuffed him with March’s handcuffs.
IRWINDALE >> Six motorcyclists and two people riding in a sedan suffered injuries Saturday afternoon in a chain-reaction crash caused by a hit-and-run pickup truck that investigators say may have been an intentional attack.
The wreck occurred just after 7 p.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway, just west of Irwindale Avenue, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
Prior to the crash, six motorcycles were traveling in the fast lane at about 65 mph, and a BMW sedan was driving in the carpool lane, also at about 65 mph, officials said.
“Suddenly, a black pick-up truck traveled from the No. 4 lane, across the westbound lanes, and into the No. 1 lane, where it struck one motorcycle. This impact caused a chain reaction with the other five motorcycles, with at least two of them striking the BMW,” according to the CHP statement.
“Preliminary information indicates the pickup truck may have intentionally struck the motorcycles,” the statement continued.
The pickup truck fled the scene, and no further description was available, authorities said.
Two of the motorcyclist were hospitalized in critical condition, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett said. Four more were treated for injuries, but declined to be taken to hospitals.
Two occupants of the BMW were also taken to a hospital for treatment, officials said.
Officials issued a Sig Alert for the carpool and two left lanes of the westbound 210 Freeway for about two-and-a-half hours as they investigated the scene and cleared the wreckage.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, is asked to contact Officer Campos of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.
IRWINDALE >> Paramedics rushed a woman and two children to a hospital after their SUV wen over off the side of the rain-slickened 605 Freeway in Irwindale, officials said.
The crash took place about 2:15 p.m. on the southbound 605 Freeway at Arrow Highway, according to California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
The SUV tumbled down an embankment, rolled over several times and ended up in a culvert, fire Capt. Rudy Gilson said.
Firefighters had to cut the woman free from the wreckage, he added. The crash knocked down a power pole, but the wires did not pose a significant risk of electric shock at the scene.
Two boys of elementary school age were flown to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center by helicopter with injuries described as moderate, Gilson said. The woman was taken to the hospital by ambulance with injuries also described as moderate.
CHP officials shut down the Arrow Highway offramp of the southbound 605 Freeway as they investigated the scene and cleared the wreckage.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Baldwin Park area office of the CHP.
PHOTO courtesy of the LA County Fire Department