A California state corrections officer and his service dog died in a single car accident on State Route 79 on March 25. Sergeant Gilbert Cortez, 46, was traveling in a convoy with four other vehicles from the California Rehabilitation Center when he lost control of his Ford Crown Victoria and spun off the road. Paramedics rushed Cortez to a nearby firehouse where they waited for a helicopter to carry him to the hospital. Cortez died while waiting. His service dog, a Belgian Malinois named Mattie, was pronounced dead on the scene. The reason Cortez lost control remains unknown and the California Highway Patrol is currently investigating.
“All of us at CDCR mourn the tragic death of Officer Gilbert Cortez,” said Jeff Beard, spokesperson from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. “He was a valued member of our department, and his ultimately passing in the line of duty is a huge loss to all who worked with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gil’s family, friends and colleagues. We are also deeply saddened by the death of Gil’s K-9 partner, Mattie.”
It is heartbreaking to lose such a valued public servant and a loyal service dog in an accident such as this. Families may be entitled to compensation when a loved one is killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by another party’s negligence. Please contact our firm if you sustained serious injuries or a loved one was killed in an accident.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego personal injury attorney