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California

San Bernardino police officer dies in car crash with alleged drunken driver

Crash scene

An investigation is underway in Ontario, where a San Bernardino police officer was killed early Thursday after his squad car was broadsided by another vehicle at Fourth Street and Etiwanda Avenue.

(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A San Bernardino police officer was killed early Thursday in a traffic collision in Ontario, authorities said.

The officer, identified as Bryce Hanes, 40, was headed for the freeway after dropping off an arrestee at the county jail when his squad car was broadsided by another vehicle at Fourth Street and Etiwanda Avenue just after 2 a.m., said Ontario Police Det. Bill Russell.

Hanes was southbound on Etiwanda when the second vehicle, a 2008 Dodge Charger, ran a red light eastbound on Fourth and smashed into Hanes’ vehicle, police said.

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Hanes suffered “massive injuries” in the crash and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement on Hanes’ death Thursday afternoon.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to Officer Hanes’ family, friends and coworkers at the San Bernardino Police Department,” Brown said in the statement. “We join all Californians in mourning his loss and vow to always remember his selfless service and sacrifice on behalf of his community.”

The driver of the Charger, a 27-year-old Fontana resident, was treated for minor injuries then taken into custody for questioning, San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a morning news conference. 

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The driver will be booked on suspicion of driving drunk and gross vehicular manslaughter, Burguan said.

Hanes is the third San Bernardino police officer to die in a year. Two other officers died in off-duty incidents, he said.

Hanes was a husband with two daughters and a son, all under 12 years old. He lived in Redlands and worked the graveyard patrol shift his whole career since joining the force in June 2003, Burguan said.

The chief worked with Hanes when Burguan was a night-shift sergeant.

“Bryce was one of those guys who came to work every day with a great attitude. He really loved his job,” Burguan said. “He was an exemplary officer.”

Ontario police will handle the crash investigation, Russell said.

The intersection is on the border of three cities and next to the jail. It will remain closed while investigators look for skid marks, clean up debris and try to determine the speeds of the vehicles during the crash, Russell said. 

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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