Trending Topics

Calif. deputy dies in crash on way home to wife, newborn after shift

Deputy Brian Haney was a six-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department



By Daniella Segura
The Charlotte Observer

SANTA ANA, Calif. — An off-duty deputy died in a crash driving home from work to his wife and newborn, California officials said.

Brian Haney, a six-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, was in a single-vehicle crash in Lake Elsinore early Thursday, Feb. 9, according to a statement from Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes and a news release from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department.

When Cal Fire firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after 5 a.m., they found “a vehicle had hit a tree,” spokeswoman Maggie De La Rosa told The Orange County Register.

Haney was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Orange County deputies.

The crash is under investigation, Riverside County deputies said.

“Our hearts break with the news of the death of our fallen brother, Deputy Brian Haney,” Barnes said in the statement. “He was known for his infectious smile, humorous and timely wit, and love for his peers.”

Haney lived in the city and gated community of Canyon Lake, about six miles away from where he crashed, according to a Facebook post from the city.

“This is a tragedy for our small, close-knit community that is home to so many law enforcement and public safety professionals,” the city said.

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said Haney most recently worked as a patrol deputy in San Juan Capistrano, according to a statement posted on Facebook.

“Today, Orange County Deputy Brian Haney tragically lost his life on his way home from a shift of keeping San Juan Capistrano families safe,” Foley said in the statement. “I’m grateful for his service, and my heart goes out to Deputy Haney’s loved ones.”

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Howard Hart said in a statement posted to Facebook that he was “shocked and deeply saddened” by Haney’s death.

“I am especially devastated to learn that he leaves behind a loving wife and a newborn baby to whom he was returning home after protecting and serving our community when this terrible accident occurred,” Hart said.

Haney had a bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice, Barnes said. He also was a senior airman in the Air Force Reserves.

A GoFundMe set up for the family described Haney as “a patriot and true man of honor.”

“Our world was shattered today. We lost a son, husband, father, brother and friend,” the GoFundMe said. “He spent his entire career serving his country and community.”

Haney is survived by his wife, Leslee, and 1-month-old son, Cole.

Lake Elsinore is about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

©2023 The Charlotte Observer.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.