MANHATTAN BEACH, CALIF. - A funeral procession and service was held Wednesday for Chad Swanson, a Manhattan Beach Police motorcycle officer who was killed in a crash on the 405 Freeway.
The funeral procession began at 8:30 a.m. in Manhattan Beach and was followed by a church service in Cypress.
Manhattan Beach Police Department personnel and city staff joined the procession to "show unity and respect," according to a police press release. Community members who wanted to attend the procession were encouraged to wear red, white and blue.
The route began on Manhattan Beach Boulevard between Ardmore Avenue and Aviation Boulevard, before heading to SeaCoast Church in Cypress.
The funeral service started at 11 a.m. at the SeaCoast Church, located at 5100 Cerritos Ave.
Swanson, 35, was a 13-year veteran police officer. He died at Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, the police department reported. According to Manhattan Beach police Lt. Kelly Benjamin, Swanson was married with three young sons.
Manhattan Beach officials said Swanson was on his way to work Oct. 4 when the crash occurred.
According to the CHP, the officer was in a crash that involved three other vehicles. The driver of one of those vehicles may have been speeding and made a possibly unsafe lane change, striking another vehicle that careened out of control, according to the CHP.
The officer's motorcycle was struck by one of the vehicles, knocking him to the ground. He was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. One other person suffered minor injuries and was also taken to a hospital.
The other motorists remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, the CHP reported.
It was unclear which vehicle struck the officer.
Manhattan Beach police Chief Rachel Johnson said Swanson joined the department 13 years ago and became a motorcycle officer in 2017. He previously worked as a civilian parking enforcement employee at the Hawthorne Police Department, Johnson said.
"Chad lived a life of service to the community," the chief told reporters. "His love for his work was evident each time I saw him. I last spoke with Chad on Sunday at the canine car show, and I watched as he lifted one kid after another kid onto his motorcycle to let them see what it was like to sit astride a police motor. He never tired of it. And I think he would have done it until sunset if that's what it took to make every kid's day.
"Chad was a bright star in a world that wasn't always the same. Chad was what I refer to as a seriously good dude. His infectious smile and laugh lit up every room he entered. To know Chad was to love him. If you weren't laughing when he was in the room, you simply weren't listening."
Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery said in a statement the entire community was mourning "the loss of an officer who dedicated his career to ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents."
"His fearless contributions to our community and beyond were marked by bravery, integrity, and an unwavering commitment to duty," Montgomery said.