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Two CHP officers killed in crash in Fresno County ID'd

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Breaking: Two CHP officers were killed in a car crash in Fresno County Monday, according to a Feb. 17 LA Times news report. The fatal Presidents' Day crash of the two California Highway Patrol officers took place while the highway patrol officers were responding to a multi-vehicle accident in Kingsburg. The fatality victims have been identified.

According to CHP officials, two of their own died when their vehicle flipped after one of the officers swerved to avoid a pedestrian in the roadway.

Officers Brian Law, 34, and Juan Gonzalez, 33, were working the graveyard shift and were traveling in the same vehicle (standard procedure) when they received a call about an accident blocking northbound lanes on California 99 aka the 99 Freeway.

They responded to the call and began looking for congestion and traffic activity ahead on the opposite side of the divided highway. Suddenly, they came upon the wreckage that was in the southbound lane in which they were traveling. Moreover, the driver of the police cruiser swerved suddenly to avoid a pedestrian in the roadway, apparently one of the accident victims.

Next, the car flipped, landed on a guardrail, killing both CHP officers.

This is a very sad day for us at the CHP as we say goodbye to two valued members of our family," said a highway patrol spokesperson, adding that the two deceased officers were "distinguished group of heroes" who will "forever be remembered for their valiant sacrifice and service."

Dispatchers received the original call of an accident involving a pickup truck driver who appeared to have fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed into the middle guardrail. The force of the collision caused the truck to come to rest facing oncoming traffic and with its lights off. At least two, maybe three vehicles were involved in a chain reaction.

The two California Highway Patrolmen killed in Fresno County were six year veterans and their deaths mark the first time in 16 years the agency has lost peace officers in a traffic accident.

CHP is investigating both accidents, but now the department and surviving family members share the tough task of trying to recover from the loss of their own.

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