LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Las Vegas police officer died responding to an emergency call early Thursday when his patrol cruiser slammed into a pickup truck driven by a man the sheriff accused of driving drunk.
Another officer in another car witnessed the crash and summoned help while Officer James Manor, 28, lay unconscious in his demolished patrol car off a busy thoroughfare in a residential area
several miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.
"This shows you how quickly tragedy can strike," Gillespie said, noting that the plea for aid came just two minutes after the two patrol officers responded with lights and sirens to the 12:46
a.m. domestic disturbance call.
Manor, who would have reached his second anniversary as a police officer later this month, was pronounced dead at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, the sheriff said.
"Many times, getting to the call is just as dangerous as handling the call," Gillespie said.
The officers were on the way to help a 14-year-old girl who told police dispatchers she had been assaulted by her father and was bleeding, police Sgt. John Loretto said. Officers who ended up responding to the house found that the father was not home.
The pickup driver, Calvin Darling, 45, of Las Vegas, was hospitalized at UMC with injuries that Gillespie said were not life-threatening.
Gillespie said a blood test showed Darling was under the influence of alcohol, and said he expected Darling would face criminal charges including felony DUI causing death and misdemeanor failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
The crash closed busy Flamingo Road between Rainbow Boulevard and Tenaya Way for more than eight hours while Las Vegas police measured a long stretch of skid marks and investigated the crash.
Gillespie said the pickup turned left in front of Manor's patrol car. The officer in the second car was able to avoid the crash. Gillespie did not name the other officer.
Manor, a single father, grew up in Las Vegas and had a large family, Gillespie said.
He was the 15th area officer killed in the line of duty since 1933, and the first since Sgt. Henry Prendes, 37, was shot and killed while answering a domestic disturbance call Feb. 1, 2006. Other officers shot and killed Prendes' assailant, who was armed with an assault rifle.
Gillespie said he met early Thursday with Manor's mother and older brother, and with a division captain who knew him best.
"'A cop's cop,"' the sheriff said, using Capt. Jim Dixon's words to characterize Manor. "'A hard worker. Simply one of his best."'