Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Sergeant William Ballard was assigned to the East Los Angeles Station at the time of his death. Detective Sergeant Ballard received information regarding an old burglary case at an afternoon staff briefing. He gathered some old files and headed for an informant’s house. En route, Ballard, who was 50 years old, suffered a heart attack. Witnesses saw him slumped over the steering wheel as he drifted through an intersection, hitting a signal light standard. He was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital. An emergency tracheotomy was performed at 10:00 p.m., but he succumbed early the next morning.