The two California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers who were killed in a crash on the 99 Freeway this week were the "best of friends," colleagues said.
Juan Gonzalez, 33, and Brian Law, 34, were working the graveyard shift early Monday morning when they received a call about a collision just south of Fresno. As the pair rode toward the scene, their Crown Victoria struck a guardrail and an exit sign before flipping upside down. Both men were killed instantly.
"We're not sure if the officers . . . thought the crash was further down the road," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow told InsideBayArea.com.
"As they approached the scene, they lost control of their vehicle . . . They hit the guardrail and ultimately hit the sign."
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The incident marked the first time a CHP officer was killed in the line of duty in more than 50 years.
"California Highway Patrol members, uniform, and non-uniform alike, are suffering a very severe loss today," CHP Capt. Dave Paris said at a news conference Monday. "Everybody that comes on the CHP understands the risks. Their biggest goal is to help their community, to strengthen their community. They understand that they can become a victim of an assault or a traffic collision. It's always in their mind, and they prepare for it."
Gonzalez, who lived in the Fresno area, is survived by his mother, Maria, and a sister. He also had a long-term girlfriend.
Law, of Clovis, Calif., is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and their three children.
The two officers reportedly went through the academy together and graduated in 2008. They were initially assigned to different officers, but were teamed up together last year.
"They were best of friends," Paris said.
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