California sheriff’s deputy dies after being ‘violently attacked’ following minor crash

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- A California sheriff's deputy who was "violently attacked" and severely injured after a minor traffic collision on New Year's Eve has died, authorities said.

Deputy Lawrence "Larry" Falce, 70, died Tuesday night, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said.

Falce was off-duty when he was involved in a crash in San Bernardino, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, on Sunday morning, KTLA reported.

After the crash, Falce and the other driver stopped and made contact.

The San Bernardino Police Department said that for unknown reasons, the other driver hit Falce, severely injuring him.

The Sheriff's Employees' Benefit Association described the assault as "brutal" and said Falce never regained consciousness after the attack.

Authorities found the suspect and took him into custody, police said. He has not been identified because the investigation is ongoing.

Falce was a 36-year veteran of the department. He was described "as an honorable man" and a "lifelong public servant who cared deeply about this profession," officials said.

Dozens of deputies and law enforcement agency personnel lined up outside Loma Linda University Medical Center to pay their respects to Falce.

Several police motorcycles and other law enforcement vehicles accompanied Falce's body in a motorcade to the San Bernardino County Coroner's Office.