Two married San Diego detectives were among three people killed Friday after their car was hit by a driver driving the wrong way on a highway, authorities said.
Officers were in a city-owned blue Ford Fusion sedan around 10:25 a.m. Friday when they were hit by a white Honda Civic traveling at high speed onto Interstate 5 in the wrong direction.
The crash forced authorities to block off much of the highway near the U.S.-Mexico border south of downtown San Diego, California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt told the United States. San Diego Union Tribune.
The female driver of the Civic, who has not yet been identified, was also killed after her car collided with the officers’ sedan and caught fire. NBC 7 TV reported.
Detective Ryan Park, 32, and his wife, Detective Jamie Huntley-Park, 33, of the San Diego Police Department were among three people killed Friday morning in a fiery head-on collision between two cars
Officers were in a city-owned blue Ford Fusion sedan around 10:25 a.m. Friday when they were hit by a white Honda Civic traveling off Interstate 5 at high speed.
Park (left) was a homicide detective and Huntley-Park (right) was assigned to the Confederate Division
The detectives can be seen above in separate photos with San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit
The SDPD paid tribute to the couple, saying they have ‘touched countless lives in our department and our community’
The officers were identified as a married couple, Detective Ryan Park, 32, and his wife, Detective Jamie Huntley-Park, 33.
Park was a homicide detective and Huntley-Park was assigned to the Confederate Division.
They had a day off, but Ryan was on duty, Police Chief David Nisleit said at a news conference Friday night.
“You couldn’t have met two nicer kids,” Nisleit said.
‘Nothing but their lives ahead of them. Their lives and careers both took off quickly.’
The two met at the police academy, married in 2016 and were both promoted to detectives on the same day almost three years ago, the chief said.
The crash forced authorities to block much of the highway near the US-Mexico border south of downtown San Diego.
San Diego police officers and first responders line up at the crash site to pay their respects
Police officers and first responders stand shoulder to shoulder to pay tribute to the two detectives
The image above shows a convoy of police cars from San Diego along the highway as a sign of tribute to the deceased couple
This undated file photo shows Ryan Park pinning a badge to his wife’s uniform. The couple was promoted to detective three years ago on the same day
Detective Jamie Huntley-Park attaches a badge to her husband’s uniform in this undated file photo
“Both were beloved, devoted and decorated officials,” he said in a statement.
Police are still investigating what happened and whether drugs or alcohol played a role.
A few hours after the crash, a procession of more than a dozen motorcycle officers led a coroner’s van away from the site.
Jamie was a hockey coach for the San Diego Jr Gulls amateur team.
“As a kid, your mentors are your parents, your coaches, or your teachers,” she said in a 2019 interview with Bally Sports San Diego posted to YouTube.
‘As a coach you want to be that child’s mentor on the sports field.’
She added, “That’s what I want to be to kids when they grow up.”
Jamie Huntley-Park was a youth amateur hockey coach in the San Diego area
Jamie said in the interview that she started playing hockey because her competitive nature emerged when she watched her sister become a figure skater at a young age.
“If she can skate on the ice, so can I,” Jamie said.
Jamie played roller hockey and ice hockey growing up. During her collegiate years at Elmira College in Upstate New York, she played for the women’s ice hockey team.
Her career peak came in 2018, when she refereed the women’s ice hockey competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul.
After completing her studies with Elmira with a degree in criminal justice, she embarked on a career in law enforcement.