Patrolman Angel Garcia
El Paso Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Tour of Duty: 9 months
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle
Date of Incident: December 16, 2012
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Chief of Police Greg Allen
El Paso Police Department
911 North Raynor Street
El Paso, TX 79903
Phone: (915) 564-7000
Patrolman Angel Garcia was struck and killed by an automobile on I-10, near Hawkins Boulevard, while clearing a hazard out of the roadway.
He had stopped his vehicle in the travel lane, with his emergency equipment activated, to block traffic as he removed the ladder at approximately 7:15 am. Another vehicle swerved to avoid striking his patrol car but struck another car, causing a chain reaction crash. Patrolman Garcia was struck by on of the vehicles in the crash.
He was transported to Del Sol Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.
Patrolman Garcia was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the El Paso Police Department for only nine months.
A 27-year-old El Paso police officer just nine months out of the police academy was killed Sunday morning while trying to remove a ladder from Interstate 10.
Officer Angel Garcia was struck when he was outside of his patrol vehicle trying to remove the ladder that was in the roadway on Interstate 10 East across from Cielo Vista Mall near the Hawkins exit, police spokesman Detective Mike Baranyay said.
Garcia had graduated from the police academy in March, Baranyay said.
He was assigned to the Mission Valley Regional Command day shift. Garcia served in the Marine Corps before joining the El Paso Police Department.
Garcia responded to a call of a traffic hazard at about 7 a.m. Sunday. He located the ladder and stopped his vehicle in the lane of traffic with his overhead emergency lights going, Baranyay said.
He exited the vehicle and ended up being struck in a chain reaction at about 7:15 a.m. that involved a semi-truck, a Ford Explorer, a Hyundai Elantra and his own marked police car.
Garcia was taken to Del Sol Medical Center where he died, Baranyay said.
No charges have been filed nor any citations issued in the case, Baranyay said. Alcohol has been ruled out as a possible cause, though, he added. The investigation continues.
"Any time you have a call along the interstate, it’s dangerous, just because of the speed of the vehicles involved," Baranyay said.
Two adults in the Ford Explorer — Amado Ancheta, 70,
and Teresita Ancheta, 56, both of Katy, Texas — were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported.
Police Sgt. Chris Mears, another police spokesman, said more police officers die nationally each year because of traffic accidents than because of violence committed against them.
Baranyay said the department’s policy is to pick up roadway debris "as safely as possible when it needs to be done."
"They do receive training in ways to do that," Baranyay said. "We remove debris from freeways and regular roadways on a daily basis."
Twenty-five other El Paso police officers have died in the line of duty dating to 1883, according to the department’s Web site.
The last police officer killed in El Paso was Patrolman Jonathan Molina who died Oct. 5, 2012, nine days after suffering a fractured skull, internal head injuries and facial fractures when he was beaten unconscious while off duty. He was responding to vandalism of his personal vehicle and was taking police action when he was attacked.
Patrolman Karl R. McDonough died on Oct. 13, 2010, when he was hit by an alleged drunken driver who ran a red light and crashed into his patrol car.
Police are seeking information on how the ladder ended up on the interstate. Anyone with information is urged to call police at the nonemergency number at 832-4400 or Crime Stoppers at 566-8477.
Funeral arrangements are pending for Officer Garcia.