Off-duty firefighter rushes to aid injured police officer

The officer is intensive care after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; Sharon McIntyre was en route to a training class when she stopped to render aid

The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California Highway Patrol officer was intensive care at UC Davis Medical Center late Thursday afternoon after he was struck by a hit-and run driver on westbound Interstate 80 just east of Madison Avenue.

CHP officers credited other motorists and an off-duty city of Sacramento firefighter-paramedic with coming to the officer’s aid.

Officer Tommy Riggin, a CHP spokesman, said during a news conference that he had no details about the officer’s injuries or his condition. He said the officer had been in an out of surgery after being taken to the medical center by helicopter.

Riggin said the officer was struck about 1:10 p.m. in the median of the freeway. He said it is not known whether the officer had pulled over to aid a disabled motorist or to conduct an enforcement stop, but the driver put the vehicle into reverse, striking the officer, then drove off.

“One of our own was injured intentionally, and that’s something we can’t comprehend,” he said. Riggin asked for prayers for the officer and his family.

The injured officer’s name has not been released. Dozens of fellow officers gather at UC Davis Medical Center during the afternoon to show support for him and his family.

Officer Jenna Berry, a spokeswoman for the CHP’s North Sacramento Area Office, to which the injured officer is assigned, said investigators were trying to determine the sequence of events.

Sharon McIntyre, a firefighter-paramedic with the Sacramento Fire Department, said she was en route to a training class when she came upon the scene and stopped to render aid.

She said at least a dozen people had stopped and were trying to help the officer. Some, she said, were attempting to use the radio on his motorcycle to report the collision, while others were rendering physical aid.

“Honestly, it was a very proud moment to see how many people had, out of human kindness, stopped to help him out,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre administered medical aid to the officer at the scene and accompanied him on the flight to the hospital.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken into custody in Solano County less than an hour after the collision.

Officer David Harvey, a spokesman for the CHP’s Solano Office, said a pursuit of the driver ended at Manuel Campos Parkway off Interstate 80 in Fairfield about 1:50 p.m. The driver was identified only as a male.

When stopped in Fairfield, the suspect was driving a vehicle that was reported stolen from a contractor working on the California Department of Transportation’s “Across the Top” project on Interstate 80.

Dennis Keaton, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, said a damaged vehicle was left in the construction area and a vehicle belonging to Bay Cities Paving and Grading was stolen.

Westbound lanes of Interstate 80 were closed from several hours for investigation of the collision and westbound motorists were diverted to Greenback Lane. Caltrans reported at 6:30 p.m. that all lanes had reopened.

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