A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer and a driver were killed after being struck by a pickup truck during a traffic stop on Friday morning.
Solano officer Kirk Griess had pulled over a Saturn SUV driven by Jaime Bueza Manuel at around 9am when a white Chevrolet pickup truck veered into both motorists on the right shoulder of Interstate 80.
Both Griess, a father of three, and the 49-year-old driver were taken to the hospital, where they were pronounced dead, according to CHP officials.
Griess is said to have been a 19-year veteran of the highway patrol who spent the last 16 years with the Golden Gate Division.
‘He was at the prime of his career, making a difference,’ Golden Gate Division Chief Ernie Sanchez told KTVU.
CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said: ‘He was the ultimate public servant. He loved being a CHP officer. He loved being a CHP motorcycle officer. He’s going to be dearly missed.’
The former Marine is survived by his wife, two daughters, 21 and 25, and his 14-year-old son.
Sanchez said it is unclear how fast the pickup was going at the time of the collision, but that ‘the impact was very significant’.
‘The Saturn is about half the size it should be. It wasn’t pretty,’ he added.
The truck’s driver is said to be cooperating with authorities in the crash investigation.
Any witnesses to the collision have been urged to contact the CHP – Golden Gate Division Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) tip line at 707-917-4357.