Kate Larsen, Angie Moriconi
Colleagues are remembering a veteran LAPD officer who was killed Friday as a "wonderful person" and a family man who was looking forward to retiring. Kate Larsen reports from Beverly Hills for the NBC4 News at 6 on Saturday, May 10, 2014.
An off-duty Los Angeles police officer who was killed in a cement truck crash in Beverly Hills Friday was identified Saturday as Detective Ernest Allen in a memorial at the police station he served in South Los Angeles.
A poster of the fallen veteran along with a wreath were set up at the Southwest Division station where Allen was a 27-year veteran.
"We lost a brother, but gained an angel looking over us," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck tweeted Saturday afternoon.
Allen was killed when the pickup truck he was in was smashed by a cement truck around 2 p.m. at Loma Vista and Doheny drives.
At Southwest Division where the American flag flew at half staff, colleagues remembered the father of two as a "wonderful person" who had a great sense of humor.
"He's always just been very kind and helpful to all of us," said Officer Ruth Beadle. "He's one of those you can just have one of those talks with and you end up laughing and never complaining."
Friends said Allen was looking forward to retirement and saving money to travel.
"It was just horrible to hear that we lost him and we're going to miss him very much," Beadle said.
Beck said he knew Allen for several decades.
"He’s a fine family man and he will be sorely missed by his friends and by the members of the Los Angeles Police Department,” Beck said Friday.
The crash took place about 25 yards away from where LAPD Officer Nicholas Lee was killed on March 7 and a cement truck crashed into parked cars last week. Lee and his partner were responding to an emergency call when their car was hit by a dump truck.
Officials issued a 30-day moratorium for heavy vehicles on that street while they figure out how to deal with the danger. An electronic sign was placed on the street Saturday morning.
Allen is the fourth LAPD officer to die in a crash this year.
Officer Chris Cortijo was struck from behind by an SUV April 5 as he waited on his patrol motorcycle at a red light at Lankershim Boulevard and Saticoy Street. He died days later.
Officer Roberto Sanchez was involved in a pursuit May 3 when his patrol car was broadsided by an SUV. Sanchez was taken to a hospital but died a few hours later.
The driver of the SUV, Mynor Varela, was charged with murder after he intentionally rammed into the police car to help a friend who was driving a vehicle involved in a pursuit, Beck said on Thursday.
Jane Yamamoto and Willian Avila contributed to this report.