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Kamala Harris calls correction officer's death a 'tragic loss'

March 26, 2013|By Tony Perry

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris reacted Tuesday to the death of a state correctional officer, calling the man’s death a “tragic loss” and saying his service and sacrifice will “never be forgotten.”

Sgt. Gilbert Cortez, 46, was killed Monday when his Ford Crown Victoria spun out of control and overturned in rural northeastern San Diego County. Cortez and his police dog, Mattie, were killed instantly.

“Sergeant Cortez’s death is a tragic loss and his service and sacrifice to the people of California will never be forgotten,” Harris said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the dedicated men and women of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”

Cortez’s vehicle was one of several driven by correctional officers en route to a drug inspection. Cortez lived in Riverside and worked at the state prison in Norco.

The California Highway Patrol was trying to determine why his car spun out of control.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

@LATSanDiego

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