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CHP Mourns 5 Officer Deaths Over the Last 2 Months

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Five California Highway Patrol officers have died in the last two months, making this one of the deadliest years in agency's history. The total deaths are in addition to the three that have occurred in the Los Angeles region since June 11th.

"Its times like these that re-emphasize how dangerous this profession is and it strengthens the resolve of the men and women of the CHP," said California Association of Highway Patrolmen President Rob Nelson. “It is imperative that the loss of these officers serve as a reminder to the public to be cautious when approaching emergency incidents on the highway.”

The deaths come in the same year a law intended to protect officers became permanent. The Move Over Law basically gives officers some teeth tino enforcing drivers who dangerously blow by emergency and Caltrans vehicles and tow trucks working on the freeway.

"Drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle or tow truck with its siren or emergency lights activated must proceed with caution and move into an available lane not immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle or tow truck," explained The Auto Club of Southern California in an e-mail last year. "If such a move is not safe, practicable, or legal, the driver must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed that is safe for existing conditions."

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The deaths include Danny Benavides, who was patrolling roads by air in the Salton Sea area when his Cessna 206 went down. And on Sunday, Brett Oswald in Paso Robles waiting for a tow truck to remove an abandoned vehicle when he was was struck by a woman who lost control of her vehicle.

The three other Los Angeles area deaths can be read about here.