A Costa Mesa detective was killed Tuesday night when his sedan crashed into a support column under a freeway overpass.
The crash occurred at about 10:30 p.m. on Bristol Street under the 55 Freeway overpass (map). The detective, identified as 32-year department veteran Michael Delgadillo, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Delgadillo joined the Costa Mesa Police Department as a patrol officer in October 1981 before he was assigned to the South Coast Plaza Unit. The unit provides law enforcement services to the shopping area.
He became a canine unit officer in 1988 before joining the gang unit as an investigator in 1996. He worked major narcotics cases during his seven years with the gang unit.
Delgadillo became a detective in 2004.
The police department released the following statement: "Mike has handled many major cases and has dutifully served the Costa Mesa community and more specifically the victims of the many cases he has worked over the years.
"Mike is described as a loyal, dedicated, hardworking employee. Mike is probably best known for his charismatic personality and his strong desire to train and mentor others, by imparting his vast knowledge and many years of experience to the younger and less experienced."
Authorities continue to investigate the crash.