Clayton County, GA – Clayton County Police Department (CCPD) Officer Armando Mendoza died in a two-vehicle crash on Monday morning while on his way to his off-duty job.
The 22-year-old officer was driving his patrol vehicle along Main Street at approximately 9:40 a.m. when the driver of a Lexus ES330 failed to yield and crashed into the driver’s side of his cruiser at Tara Boulevard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The driver of the Lexus, 81-year-old Hue Phan, was transported to the hospital in critical condition, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Officer Mendoza was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Video and photos from the scene showed the obliterated vehicles blocking the roadway as police conducted their investigation into the horrific crash.
The Georgia State Patrol is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal collision.
CCPD Officer Aubriel Stroud told reporters Officer Mendoza became interested in joining the department after he visited to the station with his mother, who was catering an event for them.
“We met him there,” Officer Stroud recalled.
He subsequently decided he wanted to be a part of the CCPD.
“So, we all talked to him and we told him everything that it was about, and he eventually joined the team,” she said. “This was something that he already wanted to do…we were just there to help him.”
Officer Stroud said becoming a law enforcement officer was a dream come true for Officer Mendoza.
He had been with the CCPD for just under a year at the time of his death.
“Our hearts are broken by this horrible car accident in Clayton County,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted on Monday night. “We are praying for the heroic officer’s family and friends and are grateful for his service to our state.”
Today, GBI employees lined up outside of our Crime Lab to view the police escort for Clayton County P.D. Officer Armando Mendoza who died in a traffic accident in the line of duty. From our family to yours, thank you for your service & may you rest in peace. @ClaytonCountyPD pic.twitter.com/nVd84MybcF— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) April 20, 2021
The Hapeville Police Department sends our thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and Department of Armando Mendoza. Today we stand with you! pic.twitter.com/v0juoD4NJ1— Hapeville PD (@Hapeville_PD) April 20, 2021
Commissioner Franklin Honors the Life of Officer Mendoza “Armando Mendoza was not just an officer,” said Commissioner Felicia Franklin. “This amazingly kind-hearted 22 year old young man was the epitome of a gentleman who loved his family and friends immensely. pic.twitter.com/xvDNioliXe— Commissioner Felicia Franklin (@Felicia01372257) April 21, 2021
It is evident that @ClaytonCountyPD Officer Armando Mendoza made an incredible impact on his community and his colleagues during his time on the force.— GA AG Chris Carr (@Georgia_AG) April 20, 2021
We thank him for his dedicated service, and we are praying for his family, friends and colleagues as he is laid to rest today. pic.twitter.com/km7TcCmjlL
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Clayton County Police Department Officer Armando Mendoza, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.