Although half of all police officers killed in the line of duty die in traffic mishaps, motorcycle accidents such as the one that took the life of Officer Randol Marshall June 2 are relatively rare, police say.
Lt. Dan Cooke, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said that Marshall, 39, an 18-year veteran of the force, was killed when a cab smashed into his motorcycle on Saticoy Street near Balcom Street in Reseda. The driver of the cab, Gordon Dummer, 54, was not hurt and has not been charged.
Bob Lindsey, police safety coordinator for the department, said that Marshall, who leaves two daughters and a former wife, was the first fatal victim of a police motorcycle accident since 1984.
About seven police officers have died in traffic accidents since 1978, Lindsey said. He added that while non-fatal traffic accidents involving police have ranged from around 900 to 1,000 since 1983, only about 7 percent are motorcycle accidents.
Sgt. John Martin, who helps train motorcycle officers, said that because police are both riding motorcycles and performing a duty, “It is mandatory to learn to be able to control the motorcycle at all times. It has to become second nature to survive.”
A police spokesman said that a memorial service was held for Marshall in the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.
– L.A. Herald Examiner