A memorial service has been set for two California Highway Patrol officers who died earlier this week after swerving to avoid the scene of a collision near Fresno and then crashing themselves.
The memorial for Officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, according to CHP spokeswoman Erin Komatsubara.
Komatsubara said it still has not been decided if the service is open to the public or if media will be invited to attend.
Officials said Gonzalez, 33, and Law, 34, were in the same CHP cruiser and were responding to radio calls about a collision when their own car careened into a guardrail on the 99 Freeway near Kingsburg on Monday morning, killing them instantly.
CHP Capt. Dave Paris said the officers had received calls around 6 a.m. indicating that a crash was on the northbound 99 Freeway. Traveling south from Fresno, the officers approached and discovered the crash was on their side of the freeway instead, blocking lanes and with a pedestrian outside of one of the vehicles.
“The officers took evasive action to avoid striking any of the parties from the previous collision, lost control of the vehicle, struck the guard rail, and severely crashed,” Paris said. “No other cars were struck by the Highway Patrol vehicle.”
The outpouring of support and condolences from public officials and fellow law enforcement groups like the Los Angeles Police Department was swift.
Gov. Jerry Brown led the array of voices and in a statement said: "Anne and I extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of Officers Law and Gonzalez as they mourn the tragic loss of these dedicated public servants."
He also ordered flags at the state capitol to be flown at half-staff.
"We join all Californians in honoring these officers for their courage, commitment and service," he added.
A spokeswoman for the Fresno County coroner said the two men were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.