News >> Browse Articles >> Off Beat


CA Highway Patrol Officer Killed in Plane Crash ‎

CA Highway Patrol Officer Killed in Plane Crash ‎

Stock Photo

Associated Press

May 11, 2010

IMPERIAL, Calif. — A highway patrol pilot flying to monitor freeway speeders was killed when his aircraft crashed in Southern California, officials said Saturday.

Officer Danny Benavides, 39, was flying solo when his plane went down about 9:30 a.m. Friday in a desert area near Highway 78 and Split Mountain Road in Imperial County, the patrol said in a news release.

It said the patrol communication center lost contact with the pilot and called for a regional search that involved both military and law enforcement personnel.

Wreckage of the aircraft was spotted about 4 p.m. Benavides, a 13-year patrol officer, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation was under way to determine the cause of the crash.


Pilot Officer Danny Benavides

The CHP news release said Benavides had just finished working one speed detail and was en route to another on Interstate 8 when he crashed.

Benavides had been assigned to the patrol’s border division air operations unit as a pilot.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the crash.

“Officer Benavides dedicated his life to ensuring the safety and security of California residents, and his honorable service will forever be remembered,” the governor said in a statement Saturday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Benavides’ family and friends during this difficult time.”

Benavides is survived by his wife and a daughter.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.