The Law Office of Gary C. Nelson

We’re On Your Side

Work injury of California police officer ends in tragedy

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2012 | Workers' Compensation |

Police officers across the state make thousands of routine traffic stops each day. However, every once in a while, these stops can turn into treacherous situations which put the officer at risk of suffering a severe work injury. In a recent tragic case, a California officer was shot and killed while he made a traffic stop along a California roadway.

The tragic events began to unfold when the officer and his beat partner, apparently each in separate cars, were called to respond to an accident report. After they could not locate the reported accident, the two officers agreed to attend to a dead deer that on the side of the road in the area. The first officer was at the carcass, but before both had arrived, the beat partner initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle.

The suspect motorist reportedly pulled over at the point where the first officer was waiting. And as the officer approached the vehicle, the man inside is alleged to have shot him in the head. His partner, who had since pulled up to the scene, responded by firing several shots at the driver. The shot officer was transported to the local hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

All it takes is one tragic work injury for the lives of a California worker and the surviving family to be changed forever. In such cases, the grieving family is left struggling to come to terms with the fatal incident. Fortunately, workers’ compensation death benefits may offer them some solace, typically by covering final expenses and offsetting lost income from employment. While these benefits can’t diminish the anguish of the loss, they may provide important financial relief at a crucial time.

Source:, “UPDATE: Injured Officer Was Checking on Dead Deer on I-680 Before Being Shot,” Sept. 5, 2012; CBS13, “Memorial Set For CHP Officer Shot During Stop,” The Associated Press, Sept. 13, 2012