CHP motorcycle officer dies week after on-duty crash


A California Highway Patrol officer has died more than a week after suffering critical injuries in a motorcycle crash while on duty, authorities said.

Andy Ornelas, 27, was struck while riding his motorcycle on patrol around 7 p.m. Nov. 23 in Palmdale, according to a news release.

A driver swung from the right shoulder to make a U-turn and ended up directly in Ornelas’ path, according to CHP officials from the Truckee station. He was thrown from his vehicle on impact.


Ornelas was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, where he was treated for multiple injuries. He died Wednesday, authorities said.

“We will never forget his service and the ultimate sacrifice he made on behalf of all Californians,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement.

Flags at the state Capitol will be flown at half-staff in honor of Ornelas, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

Newsom said he and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, extended their “heartfelt condolences” to the Ornelas’ friends, family and fellow officers.

Ornelas followed in the law enforcement footsteps of both his parents as well as other family members, the CHP said. His mother, Kellie Ornelas, is a retired CHP officer from the same Antelope Valley office her son worked in. His father, Arturo Ornelas, is a motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. His brother, Andreas Ornelas, is a CHP officer, and his uncle is a retired CHP captain.


“California is grateful for Officer Ornelas’s dedication to carrying on his family’s tradition of public service and honors his work to keep our communities safe,” Newsom said.

In addition to his parents, brother and uncle, Ornelas is survived by his wife, Taylor, and sister, Nikki Ornelas.