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Procession to honor fallen Calif. cop
An officer with the Laguna Beach Police Department in California killed in the line of duty Sept. 21 will be brought to Yuma as part of a motorcade Saturday in advance of his burial.
Motor Officer Jon Coutchie, a 42-year-old man with familial ties in Yuma, was killed when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a pickup truck.
The police motorcade is expected to enter the Yuma area between 1 and 2 p.m. on Saturday at the 4th Avenue Bridge in the Historic North End. From there, the motorcade will travel south to 15th Street and then east to Desert Lawn Cemetery at 1415 S. 1st Avenue where he will be buried on Sunday.
Coutchie was born in Tucson on Oct. 2, 1971, and raised in Orange County where he graduated from Laguna Hills High School in 1989.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Coutchie enlisted in the military and became an Army Ranger. He served from 2003 to 2007 and completed tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
After being honorably discharged from the Army, Coutchie applied for a part-time jailer position at the Laguna Beach Police Department.
According to LBPD, Coutchie quickly showed great enthusiasm for his job and excelled with each assignment. Seeing his great potential, LBPD sponsored his attendance to the Goldenwest Police Academy in 2008. He successfully completed training in March 2009 and was immediately sworn in as an LBPD officer.
According to LBPD, Coutchie showed a passion for traffic issues and displayed an early expertise in accident investigation. Because of this interest, Coutchie applied and was selected for one of the Motor Officer positions in March.
On the evening of Coutchie’s death, he was traveling northbound on Coast Highway in an attempt to locate a vehicle which had eluded another officer. While looking for the speeding vehicle, Coutchie was involved in a collision with a Chevrolet pickup truck.
After the arriving officers saw Coutchie had succumbed to his injuries, one of them ran into a local Ralph’s Market and grabbed an American flag. Coutchie’s body was draped in that American flag as an honor to his sacrifice as an Army Ranger and LBPD officer.
“We will forever miss and love Jon here at the police department and will grieve along with the citizens of this community,” LBPD officials stated.
Coutchie is survived by his mother, father, brother, step-sister and girlfriend.