Firefighters across L.A. County are mourning the loss of Capt. Michael Shepard, who was killed Wednesday in a traffic collision near Sand Canyon.
Shepard, a captain at Fire Station 132, is survived by his wife, four sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren.
He also leaves behind an extended family of firefighters he came to know over the past decade.
On Thursday, his peers at the Los Angeles County Fire Department issued a statement on his death.
“Today, the Los Angeles County Fire Department family is mourning the loss of Fire Capt. Michael Shepard who passed away yesterday,” the statement reads.
“Capt. Shepard joined our department as a firefighter in 2006 and steadily promoted through the ranks. He loved his family, fishing, running, hiking, traveling and working on cars.”
Shepard’s widow, Cathy, also issued a statement through the Fire Department, wishing “to thank all of those who have reached out to her and the family.”
It reads: “Mike was a dedicated husband, father and fire captain. He was the source of love, comfort, protection and joy to the entire family.
“It is with grieving hearts that we have lost him, but we are forever grateful for each minute we spent with him,” she said.
Although no ceremonial events have been planned, the LACFD’s Memorial Management Team has been activated, said Fire Department spokeswoman Vanessa Lozano.
The crash that claimed Shepard’s life remains under investigation.
The crash happened about 11:17 a.m., involving a Jeep and a Caltrans GMC 3500 with a dump truck bed, on the northbound lanes of Highway 14, south of Sand Canyon Road, said California Highway Patrol Officer Josh Greengard.
The Caltrans vehicle was part of a sweeper detail, which was driving within the northbound center median, he said.
The driver of the Jeep suffered fatal injuries, Greengard said. The driver of the Caltrans vehicle sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
“Initial information indicates the Jeep struck the rear of the Caltrans vehicle in the vicinity of the center median/HOV lane,” Greengard said.