Laguna Beach Police Officer Killed in Crash - New York News

Laguna Beach Police Officer Killed in Crash

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The small and tight knit Laguna Beach Police Department is mourning the death of Officer Jon Coutchie.  The 42-year-old was killed while on duty In this crash late Saturday night.

"It's a struggle right now. We're so sad. We're crying we're laughing, telling stories, then crying again," said Captain Jason Kravetz, with the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Officer Coutchie was an Army veteran.  Fittingly, an American flag was draped over his body by a fellow officer at the scene.

"Really just  your consummate hero. I know that words thrown around, but Jon served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Capt. Kravetz.

Coutchie went to Laguna Hills High School, while in the military he earned many commendations.   Coutchie is survived by his parents, siblings, and long-time girlfriend.

Investigators say Officer Coutchie was responding to a call of speeding car and was headed northbound on Coast Hwy. when he slammed into a Chevy pickup that was turning left. 

 "He flew off his bike and his helmet flew, there was blood everywhere," said Megan Palazzola, who witnessed the crash.

Others tried to help, "It sounded like a truck hit another truck. As soon as I saw him go down I ran up to help the poor guy and he was already lifeless," said Ian Paul, another witness.

There's now a small memorial near the scene.  Through the day, fellow officers and friends paid their respects.  Officer Coutchie had been with the department for 4 years, but had only been on a motorcycle officer for 7 months. 

The California highway patrol says drugs or alcohol were not factors in the crash.   The driver of the pick-up was not arrested.  The investigation is ongoing.

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