Lakewood, CA – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Deputy Thomas Albanese died in the line of duty on Thursday morning after a sedan crashed into his patrol motorcycle.
Deputy Albanese, 41, was traveling northbound on Paramount Boulevard when he attempted to stop a vehicle traveling ahead of him, LASD said in a press release.
As he proceeded into the intersection with Del Amo Boulevard, he was hit by a westbound sedan.
“The force of the collision was extreme, and Deputy Albanese died instantly,” LASD said.
“It basically threw him at a distance from the collision,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva later told reporters, according to KABC. “He died instantaneously on impact.”
Sheriff Villanueva said the female driver of the sedan that hit Deputy Albanese appeared to have a green light, but that the investigation into the fatal collision is still in the early stages.
Prior to embarking on his law enforcement career, Deputy Albanese served nine years in the U.S. Marine Corps, according to the LASD.
The highly-decorated Marine served four tours in Iraq.
He joined the LASD as a security assistant in the Aero Bureau in 2013, and was later sworn in as a peace officer in 2015, according to his department.
After serving in the LASD Men’s Central Jail, Deputy Albanese was transferred to the Transit Services Bureau as a patrol deputy, then to the Lakewood Station as a field training officer.
His most recent assignment was as a motor deputy with the Pico Rivera Station.
Deputy Albanese was working an overtime shift at the Lakewood Station when the fatal crash occurred, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Thomas touched the lives of many people while working in the Department,” Sheriff Villanueva said in the agency’s press release. “He received several commendations for his work in patrol and helping the citizens of Los Angeles County.”
Deputy Albanese leaves behind his wife of 12 years, Erica, and his two young sons.
A fundraising campaign established to help his family in the wake of their loss has raised over $54,000 so far.
“He will be greatly missed by all of us in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Family,” the LASD said.
Our hearts are extremely heavy today. We stand in solidarity and respect for our Brother Deputy gone too soon. Thank you @LAFDcentral @NewtonLAPD @LAPDHollenbeck @NortheastArea @LAPDRampart @LAPDCentralArea in helping us honor Deputy Thomas Albanese. Rest In Peace 🙏 pic.twitter.com/XlBq6LD9dD
— LAPDAlLabrada (@LabradaAl) February 26, 2021
At the crash site in Lakewood where LASD Deputy Thomas Albanese died in a crash yesterday. People have left flowers, candles and a cross for him today. pic.twitter.com/iCJpYZGN2a
— Emily Rasmussen (@rasmussenreport) February 26, 2021
.@PRVLASD Deputy Thomas Albanese was a father, a husband, and an outstanding Deputy. He served his country & @CountyofLA with distinction. He will be greatly missed by all of us in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Family.https://t.co/BmoJYmbqQD pic.twitter.com/Xh7YpUQNM1
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) February 26, 2021
— Major Cities Chiefs Association (@MjrCitiesChiefs) February 26, 2021
Our office sends condolences and joins with those mourning the loss of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Albanese. pic.twitter.com/jPByYFlynP
— Riverside County DA's Office (@RivCoDA) February 26, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Thomas Albanese, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.