HOLLYWOOD HILLS—On July 2, fallen Bakersfield officer David Nelson was was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Glendale, where over 1000 people attended the funeral. The officer was killed during a high-speed car pursuit on June 26.
Nelson was a native of Burbank and served as a Burbank cadet for four years before becoming an officer for the Bakersfield Police Department two years ago. Crowds gathered at the Department’s headquarters for a vigil earlier this week.
On Tuesday, June 30, Nelson’s family held an open viewing at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. The funeral service was held at the grounds’ chapel at around 1:30 pm before being followed by a graveside service at Forest Lawn Glendale. The procession from Hollywood Hills to Glendale was televised and broadcasted by local media.
The pursuit that claimed Nelson’s life started after he attempted a routine traffic stop on an unknown vehicle. It ended when Nelson lost control of his cruiser and crashed into a wall. Responding officers pulled him out of his vehicle just before it became engulfed in flames. Nelson was rushed to the Kern Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Julian Hernandez, 32, was later identified as the driver who led Officer Nelson on the pursuit. He was arrested over the weekend and is currently being held in custody at the Kern County Jail.
Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement on behalf of both himself and his wife regarding Nelson’s passing: “Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to Officer Nelson’s family, friends and colleagues as they mourn this tragic loss. We join all Californians in honoring his dedication and service to the people of Bakersfield.”
The Bakersfield City Employee Federal Credit Union has created a donation account, where funds will go to create a scholarship in Nelson’s name. Methods for donating can be found here.