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Off-Duty LAPD Detective who Died in Beverly Hills Crash ID'd

Ernest L. Allen Sr., 52, was a 27-year veteran of the department. He is the second officer killed on Loma Vista Drive in two months.

Ernest L. Allen. Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Police Department.
Ernest L. Allen. Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Los Angeles Police Department today identified an off-duty police detective who was killed when a cement mixer struck his pickup truck along a winding, hilly stretch of road in Beverly Hills.

Ernest L. Allen Sr., 52, was a 27-year veteran of the department, where his assignments included stints at the 77th Street, Wilshire, Rampart and Southwest stations, according to a department statement.

Allen was survived by his mother, two children, two grandchildren, a sister and fiance, according to the statement.

The crash, which happened at 1:53 p.m. Friday in the 1000 block of Loma Vista Drive, also seriously injured the cement truck's driver, who was taken to a hospital for treatment, Beverly Hills police Sgt. Max Subin said.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said Allen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Allen had been in his personal vehicle, had off-duty employment in the area and regularly travels the street where he was killed, according to Beck. He said the cement truck that crushed him had been going southbound, down a steep hill, when the crash happened.

Los Angeles police Officer Nicholas Lee, 40, was killed on the same hill on Loma Vista Drive on March 7. Another cement mixer slammed into several parked cars on the road last Friday, leaving the driver hospitalized with non- life-threatening injuries.

Beverly Hills Police Department Chief David Snowden said a 30-day heavy traffic moratorium, effective immediately, is now in place on Loma Vista Drive and the rest of the Trousdale area. The street had been posted with a three-ton vehicle weight limit, but the California Vehicle Code allows exceptions of such rules for local deliveries.

Snowden said his officers, with help from the California Highway Patrol, would be weighing every vehicle attempting to enter the area.

Beverly Hills police issued a statement after last Friday's crash saying officers had increased commercial vehicle enforcement in the area and that the city was "developing stringent regulations to control truck traffic on high-risk streets through the construction permit process."

The statement called it "a critical public safety issue" and said the Beverly Hills Police Department and other city departments "are aggressively working together to avoid future accidents."

The department said that construction managers would be informed of the new moratorium and city building inspectors will be in the area this weekend. Two speed radar trailers have been deployed on Loma Vista Drive, police said.

"Signage will be installed at the entries to the Trousdale area indicating that heavy delivery to the area is prohibited," according to a police statement issued after the fatality crash.

Allen's death was the third of an LAPD officer in the span of a week and the fifth this year.

Officer Roberto C. Sanchez, 32, a six-year veteran of the force, died on Saturday when an SUV crashed into the cruiser in which he and his partner were following another vehicle in Harbor City.

The SUV driver, 20-year-old Mynor Enrique Varela of Harbor City, has been charged with murder for allegedly intentionally crashing into the patrol car to help a friend in the car being followed escape the police.

Sanchez's partner, Officer Richard Medina, suffered a broken jaw and other injuries. He was released from the hospital Sunday and is home recovering, authorities said.

On April 5, motorcycle Officer Chris Cortijo, 51, was struck from behind by an SUV while stopped at a red light at Lankershim Boulevard and Saticoy Street in Sun Valley. He died four days later. The driver was charged with driving under the influence of cocaine.

The department was also mourning the death of Officer George Nagata, a 35-year LAPD veteran who became ill while on duty, was hospitalized with an apparent heart condition, and died last Saturday.

--City News Service


Lorelei Shark May 11, 2014 at 10:36 AM
My heart goes out to the families and co-workers of these officers.

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