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Monday, April 8, 2013

Funeral services set for corrections officer

Press-EnterpriseFuneral services are scheduled for a 46-year-old state corrections officer from Eastvale who was killed with his police dog during a car crash in San Diego County.

Sgt. Gilbert Cortez and his dog Mattie died March 25 in the single-car rollover wreck along Highway 79 near Warner Springs.

His funeral will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in The Grove Community Church, 19900 Grove Community Drive, Riverside.

Graveside services will follow at Crestlawn Cemetary, 11500 Arlington Ave., Riverside.

Cortez was assigned to the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and began his 23-year career at the California Institution for Men in Chino.

He was leading three other canine teams in separate cars to a contraband search at La Cima Fire Camp, a corrections department news release said soon after the accident.

Cortez’s car was in the lead when it drifted to the right, overcorrected and crossed the highway, according to the preliminary findings by the California Highway Patrol. The car overturned and hit a rock embankment.

He is survived by his wife, their two children, and his parents.

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