Officer, dog killed when prison car overturns

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SAN DIEGO — Authorities closed state Route 79 south of Warner Springs after a state Department of Corrections K-9 unit crashed and rolled, killing an officer and a service dog.

k-9CrashThe California Highway Patrol was notified of the crash at about 7:20 a.m. The marked Ford Crown Victoria veered out of control for unknown reasons and overturned about a half-mile north of San Felipe Road in the Warner Springs area, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The K-9 patrol car could be seen right-side up in the roadway perpendicular to traffic in helicopter video from the crash scene. The roof was clearly damaged and debris littered the roadway around the car.

Paramedics took the injured officer to a nearby fire station to be airlifted to a hospital, but he died before he could be put into a helicopter ambulance. His name was withheld pending family notification.

The dog died at the scene of the crash. It was not immediately clear if the animal was a service canine.

There were no other occupants of the sedan, the CHP reported.

The car was part of a caravan of vehicles heading to a firefighting camp run by the department, said DOC press secretary Jeffrey Callison.

The CHP closed Route 79 for several hours during the accident investigation. Southbound traffic was diverted to county road S2. Northbound traffic was diverted onto state Route 76.

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