Watch: Motorcade of Police Return Officer Coutchie to Laguna Beach

(YouTube video from Shane Townley)

A large motorcade of law enforcement officers accompanied the body of Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon Coutchie -- who died in a motorcycle crash Saturday night while on patrol -- from Santa Ana to Laguna Beach Tuesday morning in preparation for his memorial service later this week.

Coutchie's body was transported from the Orange County Coroner's office in Santa Ana and taken to McCormick & Son mortuary in Laguna Canyon.

"There had not been plans for a large motorcade, but word spread through the law enforcement community," said Capt. Jason Kravetz of the Laguna Beach Police Department. "We tried to limit it, but there's no stopping them."

Uniformed members of the Laguna Beach Police Department, the Laguna Beach Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement officers from other Orange County cities rode in on motorcycles, parked in front of the mortuary, and stood in silent salute as Coutchie's American flag-draped casket was moved inside while a man played "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes. A private family viewing was held Tuesday morning.

Memorial services will take place this Friday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. at Mariner’s Church in Irvine (5001 Newport Coast Dr.). Afterwards, Coutchie will be flown to Yuma, Arizona, where he will be buried next to his grandfather. A Laguna Beach resident -- who wishes to remain anonymous, according to Kravetz -- has donated the use of a private jet to transport Coutchie to Yuma.

Laguna Beach employees plan to drive to Yuma on Saturday to attend the graveside service Sunday, Kravetz said.

Donations are being sought to help defray funeral expenses for the family, according to Kimberly Edds of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, which is collecting money on behalf of the Laguna Beach Police Employees Association.

Donations can be made through the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs Memorial Fund. Checks may be made payable to AOCDS Memorial Fund, 1314 W. Fifth St., Suite A, Santa Ana, CA, 92703. Coutchie should be written in the memo part of the check. Online donations may be made through aocds.org. Donations are tax-deductable and 100 percent of donated funds will be given to the cause, according to the AOCDS website. 

Mary Hurlbut September 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM
thank you Shane, your video and still images captured this intensely moving tribute


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