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L.A. County sheriff's deputy killed in head-on collision in Santa Clarita

An L.A. County Sheriff's deputy was killed Wednesday night after losing control of his SUV and colliding head-on with another vehicle in Santa Clarita, officials said.

Deputy Brandon Arce, 31, of Lancaster was off-duty and using his own vehicle at the time of the crash, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

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"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Deputy Brandon Arce, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement. "Law enforcement is a close-knit community, and when we lose a member of our family, the loss is definitely felt by everyone."

He was driving south on San Francisquito Canyon Road when he lost control of his Honda CR-V and crossed the double yellow lines into a northbound traffic lane, according to the California Highway Patrol.

His SUV struck a Ford Flex, driven by a 20-year-old woman from Green Valley, the CHP said.

It is unclear what caused the deputy to lose control of his SUV. He was not wearing a seat belt, the CHP said.

The deputy and the other driver suffered major injuries. They were taken to Henry Mayo Hospital, where the deputy later died.

Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision, the CHP said.

Department personnel were with Arce's family Thursday offering support as they mourned his death.

Arce was an avid marksman, who was sworn in as a deputy in 2008, the Sheriff's Department said. He was once assigned to the Pitchess Detention Center's East Facility and the department's Court Services Division. His latest assignment was at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic.

Arce's father was also an L.A. County sheriff's deputy. His father rose to the rank of lieutenant and retired in 2012 after more than 32 years with the department.

Arce is survived by his parents, Gilbert and Maria Arce; two brothers, Andrew and Eric; and his fiance, Stefanie Perez.

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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