BARSTOW — Services are being planned for a California Highway Patrol officer killed in the line of duty this past weekend.
Struck by a car during a traffic stop just outside Barstow, Highway Patrolman Justin McGrory, 28, was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he died. McGrory, who lived in Victorville with his wife and two children, was the second CHP officer to die in the line of duty in June.
On June 11, Officer Thomas Coleman, 33, was killed in Redlands while in pursuit of a stolen vehicle. At least 11 different agencies sent honor guard representatives to his funeral on June 17. The funeral was held at the Redlands Bowl, a historic spot near the city’s downtown sector.
Richard Perez, 20, of Highland, was apprehended after being involved in a separate crash, and was eventually charged with second degree murder. Perez has since pleaded not guilty to those charges.
In the Barstow incident, police took Rafael Garcia, 18, of Las Vegas into custody after he drove his 2009 Pontiac G6 on the shoulder, veering into McGrory. He stopped a short distance away from the crash site.
According to reports, McGrory and his partner, Officer Ryan Bostrom, stopped a car at nearly 4 a.m. early Sunday near Hodge Road on the northbound lane of Interstate 15 to conduct a field sobriety test.
Garcia’s car veered onto the right shoulder, clipped the left rear of the CHP vehicle and struck McGrory, who was standing at the right front of the CHP unit.
“We don’t believe alcohol was involved at this point,” said CHP spokesman Mario Lopez. “Our investigators are still trying to piece together what happened.”
Neither Bostrom nor the driver who was stopped was injured.
Garcia, of Las Vegas, Nev., stopped after the crash and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.
“We’re trying to provide as much support as we can to the family and the Barstow office,” Lopez said.
He said information on McGrory’s funeral services will be announced soon.