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Mayor orders flags lowered to half-staff in honor of LAFD recruit killed at scene of 101 Freeway

Flags at Los Angeles City Hall will be lowered to half-staff in honor of a 22-year-old fire department recruit killed when he tried to help crash victims on a San Fernando Valley freeway.

Jacob Fuerte was 10 weeks into a 20-week training program and on his way to a drill station and following in his father’s footsteps, a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, when he stopped at the scene of a crash on the 101 Freeway Monday morning in Studio City. As he attempted to help people involved in the multi-vehicle wreck, Fuerte was apparently struck in what authorities are investigating as a hit-and-run crash, according to authorities.

LA Mayor Karen Bass said during her State of the City address Monday night that she instructed city officials to lower City Hall flags to half staff in honor of Fuerte.

The crash was reported around 5 a.m. Monday. Video showed a car and Jeep Wrangler that appeared to have collided with a truck towing portable restrooms on a trailer. Fuerte stopped near the crash scene to aid victims, the LAFD said.

“Tragically, during that process, he likely may have been struck by another vehicle,” said LAFD Capt. Erik Scott.

Fuerte died at the scene. A procession that included fire department vehicles escorted the recruit’s body to the coroner’s office.

He is survived by his father, two sisters, and a brother.   

“I received devastating news this morning that one of our firefighters lost their life tragically. He had just started his firefighting career, which requires courage, bravery, and prioritizing others before oneself,” LAFD Chief Kristin Crowley said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family during this most difficult time.”

Details about what led to the crash were not immediately available. The California Highway Patrol said it was investigating this incident as a hit-and-run crash.

Anyone with information about the crash was asked to contact the CHP West Valley Area Office at 818-888-0980.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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