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Hero Down: CHP Officer Andy Ornelas Dies After Crashing While Responding To Call

Lancaster, CA – California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Andy Ornelas died in the line of duty on Wednesday, over a week after he was involved in a motorcycle crash while responding to help two crash victims.

The 27-year-old officer was on his way to assist the crash victims on the 14 Freeway in Palmdale on Nov. 23, when a driver pulled away from the right shoulder in front of him in order to make a U-turn, KTLA reported.

The vehicle ended up turning directly into the path of Officer Ornelas’ motorcycle, according to the CHP.

The officer was thrown from his motorcycle upon impact, resulting in multiple severe injuries, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officer Ornelas was rushed to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he remained in critical condition until his death on Wednesday.

CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a press release she is “profoundly saddened” over the loss of the young officer.

“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,” Commissioner Ray said. “We will never forget his service and the ultimate sacrifice he made on behalf of all Californians.”

Officer Ornelas, a four-year veteran of the CHP, had been assigned to the Antelope Valley area since December of 2019, according to the press release.

“He followed in the footsteps of his mother, Kellie, who is a retired CHP officer from the same Antelope Valley Area office, and his father, Arturo, a motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department,” Commissioner Ray said. “He is survived by his wife, Taylor, a brother, Cody, who is a CHP officer assigned to the Central Los Angeles Area office, sister, Nikki, and an uncle, retired CHP Captain Andreas Ornelas.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of California Highway Patrol Officer Andy Ornelas, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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