BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — One person was pronounced dead in the officer-involved crash Thursday morning and now his family’s attorney is asking the city for accountability.
“Just because someone is wearing a badge does not excuse them from the same standards that apply to all of us,” Daniel Rodriguez said.
Upon the news of the crash, co-workers, friends and family joined together Monday to mourn the loss of Mario Lares with a candlelight vigil.
The vigil haqppened at the spot Lares was pronounced dead only days ago after the crash on South Vineland and Muller Roads.
Lares was born and raised in Bakersfield and celebrated his 31st birthday earlier this month. He attended Foothill high school and was married for over five years to a wife who will now mourn the loss of her husband.
The officers involved are 23-year-old Ricardo Robles and 24-year-old Travione Cobbins, who were also injured during the crash.
The morning of the crash, police officers were traveling southbound on a road where there are stop signs in both the northbound and southbound lanes, Lares and another passenger, 34-year-old Ana Hernandez, were driving west.
Rodriguez plans to investigate if the officers stopped at the sign, if they had their lights and sirens on and if they followed policy to clear the intersection before entering.
“If all of those things turn out to be correct or some of them turn out to be correct, that means that the officer violated laws and he is not above the law,” Rodriguez said.
Though the investigation will never bring Lares back to his family, Rodriguez hopes it can bring them some peace and hold cops accountable.
“There has to be accountability so that every officer knows that there’s a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, and we should do it the right way,” Rodriguez said.