At about 2:45 A.M., Officer Nelson, age 26, called in that he was stopping a silver Hyundai for a minor vehicle code violation – not having license plates. Dispatchers lost contact with him seconds after he radioed in that he was in pursuit of the vehicle. Fellow officers located him pinned inside his burning cruiser, which had left the roadway and collided with a retaining wall and utility pole, and pulled him out of the wreck before it became completely engulfed in flames.
Officer Nelson was transported to Kern Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
Police received an anonymous tip the next day and arrested the driver on numerous charges, including evading an officer resulting in injury or death and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Officer Nelson’s was the first line-of-duty death in the department since 1983. He was a two-year veteran of the Department.