A police officer in President George W. Bush's motorcade crashed his motorcycle and died Monday, less than a year after a crash in Hawaii killed another motorcycle officer accompanying the president.
The 40-year-old Rio Rancho officer, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, crashed at the Albuquerque airport at a point where a road enters an underground parking garage, said Trish Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Police Department. He was pronounced dead at an Albuquerque hospital.
Bush had been headed to the airport after attending a fundraiser for Republican Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico.
Hoffman said the one-vehicle crash is under investigation and "it's way too soon" to pinpoint a cause.
"Any time there is a presidential motorcade, the officers, that's part of their job, they drive at a high rate of speed," Hoffman said.
Photographers and reporters in the presidential motorcade said the officer's motorcycle appeared to be nearly destroyed, and the officer was on the ground, being helped by an emergency medical technician.
The officer, who leaves behind a wife and two teenage children, had been with the Rio Rancho Police Department since 2005 and worked with campus police at the University of New Mexico before that, Hoffman said.
A Honolulu police officer, Steve Favela, died in November when he and two other motorcycle officers crashed while part of a presidential motorcade traveling across Hickam Air Force Base.