Patrolman David Ortiz
El Paso Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Monday, March 14, 2016
Tour of Duty: 9 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Motorcycle accident
Date of Incident: March 10, 2016
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 David Ortiz succumbed to injuries sustained four days earlier when his police motorcycle was struck from behind at the intersection of Lee Trevino Drive and Vista Del Sol Drive.
The impact pushed his motorcycle into the vehicle in front of him, and became trapped underneath one of the vehicles involved in the crash. He was able to pulled from underneath the vehicle. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his inuries.
Patrolman Ortiz had served with the El Paso Police Department for nine years and was assigned to the Pebble Hills Region Command.
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — Police said Officer David Ortiz has died days after being critically injured in a multi-vehicle crash.
Ortiz was a nine-year veteran with the department and was assigned to the Pebble Hills Regional Command Center.
As previously reported, the crash happened around 3:15 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Lee Trevino Boulevard and Vista del Sol Drive.
Ortiz was stopped at a red light on Lee Trevino along with a 2006 Acura driven by Carmen Hernandez, 41, of Juarez, and her 21-year-old passenger, Angela Jasmin. A 1976 Chevrolet pickup driven by Raul Licio, 51, was also at the red light.
"He was always there to help he was dependable it was a man you could count on," said friend Kris Menendez.
Dedicated. Compassionate. Family man.
Those are just a few of the words friends use to describe Ortiz.
Ortiz had previously worked in Horizon and Socorro and had many friends in the community.
They called him "Little David" because of his short stature.
But his personality, was larger than life itself
"He was bigger than everybody when he came to that room," said friend Oscar Garcia.
Garcia was 16 when he met Ortiz and considers Ortiz a role model.
"He always talked about his family. How much he loved his family how he loved his wife. It’s a thing at 16. It’s something that you look up to," said Garcia.
Menendez knew Ortiz for more than 15 years while both were working as first responders in the Horizon
"David was an honorable man. He played softball with us many, many years ago. He was athletic, he was always a joy to be around. He never had anything negative to say. It was always positive things. It’s that positive outlook on life that was what was fun to be around," said Menendez.
But even more than he loved being a police officer, he loved being a father and husband.
Horizon Assistant Chief Manuel Rico knew Ortiz for two decades. Ortiz attended Rico’s wedding.
"Officer David Ortiz has a great family. Always a very family-oriented man. I always saw him with his wife and his two kids," said Rico.
"He was a very noble man. What we do in our careers, is at the end of the day, for our families. We never expect anything tragic to happen. It’s always the unexpected that really hits us hard," said Menendez.
His death has impacted the first responder community, a reminder that, sometimes, you don’t get to go home at the end of a shift.
"I still can’t believe what happened and knowing how it happened on a traffic stop, you don’t expect those things, but you always have to be careful with the unexpected and that’s exactly what happened," said Rico.
Police said a 2006 Kia driven by an unnamed 45-year-old Hispanic man was driving north on Lee Trevino when he struck the police motorcycle, causing Ortiz to be thrown off.
The crash caused a chain reaction in which the Kia also crashed into the Acura. The Acura was then pushed into the back of the Chevy truck, police said.
Police said the Kia caught fire as a result of the crash. The fire also damaged the police motorcycle.
The 45-year-old driver of the Kia was taken to Del Sol Medical Center for injuries caused by the crash.
Hernandez and Jasmin were treated for minor injuries, police said.
A witness said the officer was trapped under the car until people were able to pull him out.
"I’ve never seen flames that big. Never seen a car flaming. Got tons of cars around and we’re right by a gas station, so I was trying to steer clear of that. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a big explosion or something," Carlos Vela said.
Friends say Ortiz had a unique quality
"He always saying that song ‘Roxanne’ anytime just out of the blue he would just start singing that song," said Ortiz.
"Roxanne" was a hit song in the 1970s by The Police.
"I told him, ‘what are you doing? Why are you singing?’ and He kept singing to me and I still didn’t understand what he was doing and after a while I started singing with him. I don’t even know what the song means," said Garcia.
It’s just one of the many things they’ll miss about him.
"He was a great officer, he was a great family man and he will be missed by all," said Menendez.
There have not been any charges filed yet and police said the crash remains under investigation.