Officer Gilbert Cortez and K9 Mattie were killed in an automobile accident Route 79, near San Felipe Road, in San Diego County.
Officer Cortez was part of a convoy of state corrections K9 officers who were en route to inspect the La Cima Fire Camp in a rural part of the county. His marked vehicle veered off the roadway and overturned, killing K9 Mattie. Officer Cortez was transported to a local fire station, but died before a helicopter could reach him.
Officer Cortez had served with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 23 years and was assigned to the Southern Regional K-9 Unit. He is survived by his wife, two children, and parents.
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 23 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Automobile accident