Manhattan Beach motorcycle officer killed in 405 Freeway crash identified as 35-year-old

BySid Garcia and staff KABC logo
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Manhattan Beach motorcycle officer killed in 405 Freeway crash
Officer Chad Swanson died in a four-vehicle crash on the 405 Freeway early Wednesday as he was riding his motorcycle to work.

CARSON, Calif. (KABC) -- A 35-year-old Manhattan Beach motorcycle officer died after a crash on the 405 Freeway in Carson Wednesday morning.

Officer Chad Swanson was killed in a four-vehicle crash that was reported around 5:15 a.m. at Del Amo Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officials with the Manhattan Beach Police Department said he was on his way to work when he was was struck.

"At this time, it looks like a vehicle may have been traveling at an unsafe speed and possibly conducted an unsafe lane change," CHP Lt. Steve Carapia said at a news conference, held on the side of the freeway that was shut down amid the investigation.

It appeared the vehicle that made the lane change struck another, and that second vehicle struck Swanson, ejecting him from the motorcycle, Carapia said.

AIR7 HD was over the scene where there was a large presence of patrol vehicles shortly after the crash.

Paramedics on scene conducted CPR on the officer before an ambulance transported him to Harbor Medical Center with a police escort. Another person was also taken to the hospital after suffering minor injuries.

A procession of first responders later escorted his body to the coroner's office in Los Angeles.

Officer Swanson had worked for the department for over 13 years. He is survived by his wife, three young sons and his parents.

A Manhattan Beach motorcycle officer died after a crash on the 405 Freeway, prompting the full closure of northbound lanes in Carson Wednesday morning.

Police Chief Rachel Johnson said she last saw Swanson at a community event on Sunday. He clearly enjoyed interacting with the community and kids especially at the event, she said, lifting up one child after another to check out his police motorcycle.

"To know Chad was to love him and if you weren't laughing when he was in the room you simply weren't listening," the chief said.

Officials said Swanson was attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas when the deadly mass shooting occurred in 2017. He was struck by shrapnel but was still able to help others get to safety.

A Manhattan Beach Police Department employee was killed in the Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday night, but a wounded off-duty officer and two of the agency's other employees survived.

"Many of you may not have known Chad personally, but you know of him... He personally was responsible for saving several lives and helping rescue victims out of that area," Benjamin said.

All others who were involved in the crash remained at the scene and were cooperating with investigators, the Highway Patrol said.

Meanwhile, all traffic was being diverted off the freeway at Avalon Boulevard. The northbound lanes were expected to remain closed until further notice.