CHP officer from Taft injured

Staff Writer
Taft Midway Driller
Armando Portillo in a photo from 2019

A California Highway Patrol Officer who grew up in Taft was seriously injured when he was struck by a car on a busy freeway in Alhambra Sunday.

KNBC News reported that Armando Portillo suffered major injuries in the 1:25 p.m. crash on the San Bernardino Freeway.

KNBC said Portillo had parked his patrol vehicle on the right shoulder of the freeway behind a BMW.

At that point a car made an unsafe lane change from the number 2 lane to the number 3 lane, cutting off a Toyota Rav4. The RAV4 driver hit her brakes and swerved to avoid a collision but lost control, hitting Portillo's vehicle and knocking it into the BMW. Portillo was struck during that collision.

He was rushed to County-USC Medical Center for treatment of what were described as major injuries.

The driver whose unsafe lane change triggered the chain-reaction fled, KNBC reported

Portillo is a 2008 Taft Union High School graduate and a former youth sports coach for the West Side Recreation and Park District. He graduated from the CHP Academy in 2019. Before that, he studied criminal justice at Bakersfield College and worked as a heavy equipment operator for Clean Harbors in Buttonwillow.