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Southbound 405 reclosed at National Boulevard after CHP officer crash

A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer was making a traffic stop on the 405 Freeway when he was struck by a vehicle speeding along the shoulder, forcing officials to close the freeway in both directions, authorities said Wednesday.

CHP Officer Mark Garrett said the officer had pulled over a Honda sport utility vehicle at 8:35 a.m. Wednesday when an Infiniti sedan came barreling down the shoulder, hitting him and the SUV.

159158.ME.0609.freeway-closed.7.ALS The crash snarled traffic on the freeway for hours and sent four people to the hospital, including the officer.

The northbound lanes of the freeway remained closed just before noon Wednesday as investigators worked to determine what happened.

The southbound were re-opened after being closed for more than an hour after the crash but were closed again around 11:30 a.m. to allow a Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter to land on the freeway to pick up CHP investigators so they could take aerial photographs, Garrett said.

Television footage showed the crushed CHP motorcycle tangled with the two vehicles at the National offramp, near the intersection of the 405 and 10 Freeways.

Garrett said the southbound lanes would be reopened when the work was finished.

He did not know when the northbound lanes would be opened and did not know the condition of the officer, who was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.

-- Kate Linthicum and Andrew Blankstein

Top photo: California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police Department officers and firefighters survey the scene where a CHP officer was involved in a crash on the northbound lanes of the 405 Freeway just North of Palms Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo: Officers walk near the CHP officer's mangled motorcycle after the crash. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (18)

very familiar with this stretch - they added lanes and yet worsened the traffic by not fixing the transition to E/W 10 frwy - know exactly what tempted this idiot to do what he did

I'm in favor of finding out what happened, but to close such a vital freeway for more than a few minutes is totally unconscionable. Take some photos then get the wreckage off the freeway and open it back up to the thousands of people who need to get where they're going.

Ok, the officer was hurt and they do not know his condition. But what about the other "humans", are they not equally as important?

This is so tragic. I make this drive everyday and I'm just appalled and shocked when I see cars go into the shoulder. And I've seen it more often than not.

Why did they have to close the freeway in both directions? The accident started and ended on the right shoulder . . .

Honestly this was meant to happen. How many times we see CHP and LAPD lately just pulling people over in the middle of the street and even make traffic worst. Maybe this will open their mind.

I've started getting off at the Washington/Venice exit, because that merge lane is so messed up. It drives me crazy to see morons swerve into the merge lane, causing 10 times more mergers than necessary and slowing traffic down. A previous poster was right. Traffic got worse AFTER construction was done, because of all the people jumping into the merge lane.

I hope everyone ends up OK after this whole mess.

Peoples live were ruined today because some jerk decided to take a short cut and ram his car into another human being. The next time your see red and blue lights flashing, pull over and stop or clear a lane to the left and proceed with caution, unless of course they are directly behind you...

Are these people paid by the hour, or what?

Six hours is a ridiculous amount of time to close any highway like the 405, for any reason, unless the entire bloody thing was on fire. Which it wasn't.

Sympathies for all the injured but did the 405 have the remain closed for most of the day? Was this because a policeman was injured in the crash - I don't think such drastic measures are used for other accidents.

I too have seen people trying to short-cut the traffic by driving on the shoulder! I hope they take the license away from Mr. I drive an Infiniti, so I don't have to drive legally!

I know the CHP officer, he is my cousin's husband. He is in CRITICAL condition; more than any of you know. Before you start criticizing them for keeping the freeway closed, try to understand what happened. I was also affected by the freeway being closed, but I know what had happened and got over it. You should do the same and try to be sympathetic rather than rude and selfish.

We live in our own bubbles , if it affects our plans we get angry and criticize because we believe everything should revolve around us. which is total bull! Grow a brain people. An idiot felt that he was owed priority and drove on the shoulder. That is the moron you should be angry at. Not the CHP nor the cop that was doing is job to take some idiots off the road to keep you safe!

I hope the officer recovers.

As for the infinity driver.....throw the book at it for wrecking lives

Your patience in this tragedy could serve as a sign of respect to this man and his family. In a split second everything about his way of life and that of his family has changed.Step back a bit and get out of yourselves for a minute.This man spent 27 years making the roads a safer place for all of us. He was months away from a much deserved retirement. Take a minute and a deep breath and be glad you are alive.It's people like him that make that their goal every day...to keep you alive.
In Prayer & Respect
Chris Frost

I don't think anyone is angry at the police officer. He was doing his job, and it's horrible what happened to him.

What people are annoyed at are:

1) Why is it that the entire freeway had to be closed, and for so long? We see many accidents, and they are NEVER given this kind of treatment. The only thing different with this one is that a CHP was a victim.

2) I also agree that CHP pulling people over is creating a HELL OF A LOT of traffic these days on many freeways. The solution to this one isn't so simple, because we still need traffic enforcement...

It's awakening to hear just how self involved people are these days! After you finish complaining about your driving inconveniences say a prayer for the OFFICERS that have put their lives on the line for morons like the infiniti driver AND the filth that caused the death of another officer in Redlands. People like to believe that we give our soldiers so much respect, but the truth is they don't! These officers are soldiers in their own homeland. Give them the respect they deserve. If it were you, you would embrace it with gratitude. You would help re-fill a little bit of faith in the human spirit,

Sister of CHP Officer

it was closed because the chp has to do a proper investigation which 99.9% of the people commenting have no idea of. And for eurofun4u, i hope i run into you on the street, how dare you criticize peace officers for enforcing the law. the laws regarding the vehicle code are meant to make the roads safe for the millions of people in california. i wonder how many of you would complain if we just let people drive how they wanted and solve their own traffic collisions?

This was a wonderful man that deserved so much more than this. He wasn't the cause of the freeway being closed, it was the idiots out there that don't know how to drive and think they are above the law. He pulled over someone that was breaking the law and then another idiot thinks he can break the law and get away with it. The CHP officer was caught in the middle of law breakers doing his job trying to keep everyone of you thats complaining safe and all you can do is moan and groan cause you were stuck on the freeway while a great man fought for his lost. Pack you little suitcase and move to the country if you don't like the freeway traffic. Because as long as there are idiots that think they can do what ever they want, when they want, and how they want, expect to be detained on the freeways. If it was your husband or your father or your son, or the love of your life out there wouldnt' you want some sort of consideration for them. This wasn't just a finder bender, this was a life that got taken at no fault of his. Everyone of you that was stuck on the freeway during that time should have been silently praying for Gods hand to heal his broken body, but instead you were all probably cursing and moaning. cause you were a bit inconvenienced, boo hoo!!!!! You should all be ashamed.
I agree with Ann, our military soldiers protect our great country, and the Police officer protect our states and towns, we should show a little decency and respect to both.


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