Truck Driver Charged with Manslaughter for Killing LAPD Officer in Crash

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

The driver of a big rig truck that struck and killed an LAPD officer last year in Beverly Hills has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Nicholas Choung Lee died in a severe car crash on March 7, 2014, when Roberto Maldonado lost control of his truck as it traveled downhill while hauling a dumpster and a Bobcat. The truck slammed into Lee’s patrol car, killing the 16-year veteran and severely injuring his partner, only identified by her first name Stephanie.

A year-long investigation by the California Highway Patrol further revealed that Maldonado, who was also hospitalized following the crash, had failed to properly maintain the brakes and inspect the truck according to regulations. He was arrested on Friday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

Maldonado, 46, faces one count of gross vehicular manslaughter and faces up to six years in prison if convicted. The L.A. Times reports that his arraignment will take place on March 20.

Lee was remembered by his friends and colleagues as a man of selflessness and courage. He was plugged into the local Korean American community as well—many remembered Lee from playing basketball with him and meeting him through local organizations. Lee is survived by his wife and two daughters.


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