UPDATED 9:56 AM PT – Saturday, June 5, 2021
Law enforcement in San Diego, California have been searching for answers after two San Diego Police Department detectives were killed in a wrong-way crash. During a press briefing on Friday night, the SDPD identified the two officers who lost their lives on a highway near the Southern border. Authorities say husband and wife detectives Ryan Park and Jamie Huntley-Park were driving down Interstate 5 early Friday morning when their vehicle was hit head on.
California Highway Patrol Officer Salvador Castro was one of many responders who arrived to the scene of the crash and discussed details with the media.
“At approximately 10:22 am this morning, our units received a call, a broadcast of a wrong-way driver traveling North on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5,” he explained. “A short time later we received another, additional call of a traffic collision.”
Today, my heart aches as we mourn the tragic passing of two decorated detectives. I had the honor of promoting Detective Jamie Huntley-Park & Detective Ryan Park in 2018. They were an incredible part of our team who helped countless San Diegans. pic.twitter.com/lxdfrlJOUE
— David Nisleit (@ChiefNisleit) June 5, 2021
The wrong-way vehicle is believed to have been traveling at roughly 90 miles per hour and killed the driver upon impact. First responders say the detectives were pronounced dead at the scene. It’s unclear if the female driver of the wrong-way vehicle was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.
“Due to the nature, the violent nature of the crash, the wrong-way driver which is a Honda Civic burst into flames,” Castro stated. “San Diego Fire were unable to rescue any of the occupants in either vehicle.”
According to Police Chief David Nisleit, the couple was on a scheduled day off but may have been doing background work on a case. Back in 2012, the pair met in the police academy and were married in 2016 with the chief promoting the husband and wife to detectives in 2018.
“You look at 32 and 33-year-old detectives who had nothing but their lives ahead of them,” he expressed. “Both their lives and their careers were definitely on a very rapid trend upward just doing amazing work.”
In the meantime, CHP is helping local authorities conduct their investigation on the crash and are working to determine where the wrong-way driver entered the freeway.