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Police Officer Killed as Jeep Crashes on Freeway

November 02, 1986

A Los Angeles police officer was killed on his way to work when a Jeep, driven by his partner, hit debris on the San Bernardino Freeway and careened out of control, partly overturning on a guard rail.

Killed was Mark Woods, 39, a 16-year police veteran, who lived in Baldwin Park. The accident, on the westbound lanes of the freeway west of Francisquito Avenue, occurred at 10:46 p.m. Friday, California Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bugg said.

The officers were assigned to the 12:15 a.m. shift at the 77th Street Division in South Los Angeles. The Jeep, driven by Peter Weinhold, 42, of Pinion Hills, struck a front bumper ripped from a car that had just rear-ended a pickup truck.

That car continued on its way, leaving the bumper in the fast lane and the pickup truck on the shoulder facing eastbound, Bugg said. The officers' Jeep hit the bumper, spun out of control and hit the right-side guard rail, throwing Woods to the surface of Francisquito Avenue about 20 feet below.

Both officers were taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina, where Woods died shortly thereafter. Weinhold, a 19-year veteran, suffered minor injuries.

A witness to the first crash stopped the car that lost its bumper and obtained the driver's name and license number. The information was turned over to police, Bugg said.

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