Off-duty Los Angeles police officer, passenger killed by suspected drunken driver, authorities say

From the Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An off-duty Los Angeles police officer and one of his passengers were killed in a collision early Saturday morning involving a man suspected of drunken driving, authorities said.

Officer Darrell Cunningham and another person riding with Cunningham were killed after a 20-year-old man, driving at more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) per hour, failed to stop at a red light and struck the car, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said at a press conference.

An off-duty San Bernardino County deputy sheriff, another passenger in the car with Cunningham, was injured in the crash.

Moore said details police know about the crash are “preliminary,” but he called the incident a “senseless tragedy.”

“Darrell had just under five years on the job. He worked as recently as two nights ago. He’s described as hard-working, honest, a person you can go to to get the job done with a great attitude,” Moore said. “As a department, we’re grieving today.”

The collision happened at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Los Angeles’ Northridge neighborhood, Moore said. Authorities did not identify the second person killed in the crash by midday Saturday, saying they were waiting to notify family members.

The driver who authorities said hit Cunningham’s vehicle was in critical condition Saturday at a nearby hospital, Moore said. Los Angeles police said he would be booked for gross vehicular manslaughter.