LAPD investigating fatal crash involving USC student

A fatal collision involving a Department of Public Safety officer and a USC student is the subject of an ongoing Los Angeles Police Department investigation, according to DPS and the Los Angeles Times.

The crash occurred at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 3 along Jefferson Boulevard, near USC Gate 4,  DPS Deputy Chief David Carlisle said. The victim was Kelsey Dresser, a first-year graduate student in the Rossier School of Education. According to the LA Times, Dresser was driving westbound on Jefferson when she made a left turn and was hit by a DPS vehicle driving eastbound.

The name of the DPS officer, who remains off-duty while recovering from the collision, has remained confidential, and DPS has declined to say whether he sustained any injuries.

Dresser, who suffered brain damage as a result of the crash, was taken to a local hospital, where she died the following day.

The 23-year-old student graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2014 with a degree in psychology, according to the LA Times. She had worked to support students with mental health issues and conducted research at an autism center.

According to Carlisle, DPS is awaiting the report from the LAPD.

“Once we receive the final report from the LAPD, these types of serious traffic collisions have several levels of review,” Carlisle said. “We will review the content of the report and see if there is anything that we can do keep that from happening again in the future.”

On Dec. 7, DPS Chief John Thomas released a statement offering “our deepest condolences to Kelsey’s family, friends, classmates and faculty.”

“Our officers dedicate themselves to protecting our students, staff, faculty and everyone who visits the university,” Thomas said. “This is an unprecedented and heartbreaking event for our department.”