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Off-Duty Compton Officer Killed When Jeep Runs Off Road

September 25, 1997| From a Times Staff Writer

ORANGE — An off-duty Compton police officer died early Wednesday after his Jeep ran off the road and he was thrown from his vehicle, authorities said.

Robert P. LaBarge Jr., 30, of Santa Ana, was driving his 1993 Jeep Wrangler on South Crawford Canyon Road just south of the city of Orange at the time of the crash, said California Highway Patrol Officer Angel Johnson.

LaBarge's Jeep strayed from the road shortly before 1 a.m., just south of Stoller Lane in an unincorporated section of Orange County, Johnson said.

LaBarge, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the Jeep and pronounced dead at the scene, Johnson said. The cause of the crash was under investigation, she said.

LaBarge was a four-year veteran of the Compton Police Department. After working uniform patrol, he had recently joined the air unit as a helicopter observer, said Compton Police Capt. Steven Roller.

LaBarge's father is a retired Tustin police officer.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at La Purisima Catholic Church in Orange.

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