California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Sergeant Gilbert Cortez (ODMP photo)
Vehicle veered out of control and overturned killing both inside.
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Sergeant Gilbert Cortez and K9 Mattie were killed in an automobile accident Route 79, near San Felipe Road, in San Diego County.
Sergeant 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. Sergeant Cotez was transported to a local fire station but died before a helicopter could reach him.
Sergeant 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.
Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:
Secretary of Corrections Jeffrey A. Beard
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
PO Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283
Phone: (916) 445-4950