Oxnard, CA – Oxnard Police Department (OPD) Officer Nathan Martin died in a motorcycle crash as he was leaving work on Wednesday.
The incident occurred on Third Street near Campton Drive at approximately 4 p.m., the Los Angeles Times reported.
The 45-year-old officer was less than a mile away from the station when a semi-truck turned in front of him, Oxnard Police Chief Scott Whitney said during a press conference.
Officers raced to the scene to discover that the gravely injured rider was one of their own.
“It is a terrible and dark day for everyone here at the city of Oxnard and the Oxnard Police Department,” Chief Whitney said. “Several of the first responders on scene were close personal friends of Officer Martin and are obviously devastated.”
Officer Martin was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Chief Whitney said that he does not believe the truck driver was taken into custody, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The California Highway Patrol is handling the ongoing investigation into the deadly crash, and will determine whether or not the driver was at fault.
“Clearly, you don’t have the right to turn in front of oncoming traffic,” Chief Whitney told reporters.
He described Officer Martin as a “good man” who “worked hard for his city,” KTLA reported.
Officer Martin, a 20-year veteran-of-the-force, worked as a patrol officer, traffic officer, and property crimes investigator prior to being assigned as a school resource officer at Hueneme High School.
“He was committed to his job,” Chief Whitney said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The students at Hueneme High School loved him. The faculty loved him. We know that they’re going to take it hard.”
Dozens of officers escorted Officer Martin’s body to the coroner’s office, KTLA reported.
On Thursday, Officer Martin’s parking spot at the school was adorned with flowers, according to the Ventura County Star.
“This is where his heart was, as a school resource officer,” Chief Whitney said. “He saw these students as his own kids. He was a great mentor for them, great role model for them.”
Officer Martin leaves behind his wife, Marita, as well as his children, 20-year-old Gabriel, 17-year-old Soraya, and 14-year-old David.
He is also survived by his mother, Susan, and his brother, fellow Oxnard Police Officer Tom Martin, the Ventura County Star reported.
A fundraising campaign established to assist his family in the wake of their loss has raised over $15,000 so far.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Oxnard Police Department Officer Nathan Martin, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.