On the afternoon of May 26, 2011, Hawthorne PD Traffic Bureau Motor Officers were assigned to assist in the funeral escort duties of a Manhattan Beach police officer Mark Vasquez, who died recently after a long battle with cancer.
At approximately 12:20pm Hawthorne PD Officer Andrew Garton and El Segundo PD Sgt. Rex Fowler collided near the intersection of 227th Street and Hawthorne Blvd., in the city of Torrance. The collision caused Officer Garton to be thrown into oncoming traffic. Garton was transported Harbor UCLA Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries. Sgt. Fowler suffered a broken leg and is recovering.
Officer Garton was a seven year veteran and had been assigned to the Traffic Bureau as a motorcycle officer for the past four and a half years. He also served as a long time member of the Department’s SWAT team. Officer Garton is survived by his wife and two sons, ages 12 and seven.