Hawthorne Police Department Officer Andrew Garton
A Hawthorne police officer died Thursday and another officer was critically injured after a motorcycle collision during a funeral procession for an officer who had passed away from cancer.
Hawthorne police identified the deceased officer as Andrew Garton, 44, a seven-and-a-half-year veteran of the department. He was married with two children. He was also a Hawthorne Police SWAT officer, according to the department.
Hawthorne police said Garton was the first officer to die in the line of duty in the department's 89-year history. Police Chief Robert Fager said his death has affected every one of the department's 96 officers.
"The reality of what's happened is overwhelming," said Hawthorne Police Chief Robert Fager. "And the reality is unchartered territory for us as an organization."
"During the funeral procession, a motor officer from the Hawthorne Police Department and a motor officer from the El Segundo Police Department collided with each other," said Torrance Police Sgt. Jeremiah Hart.
The funeral procession was for Manhattan Beach Police Officer Mark Vasquez, who died of cancer. Garton had volunteered to take part in the funeral procession.
South Bay police tragedy: Hawthorne police officer killed in collision during funeral procession - latimes.com
El Segundo Police Sergeant Rex Fowler was seriously injured in the accident. First listed as critically injured he's been upgraded to stable with a broken leg and other unspecified injuries. May his recovery be full and swift.
Rest well, Officer Garton and Officer Vasquez