Saturday night in Humboldt County we had what could have been as bad - or worse - but thankfully it wasn't:
Accident sends sheriff's deputies to hospital
Sheriff's and Trinidad police vehicles damaged
TRINIDAD, CA -- It was an ugly scene late Saturday night that started with a call to investigate possible drunken driving and ended with a Trinidad Police car, a Sheriff's car and a civilian car damaged, several officers injured, and an Arcata woman arrested for possible drunken driving.
At about 11:50 p.m. Saturday, Trinidad Police officer Jana Deck was investigating a possible DUI when she encountered a vehicle that was partially in the roadway and a male and female in what appeared to be a fight along the roadside.
The officer called for assistance and was joined by several Humboldt County Sheriff's units.
While they were at the scene, 46-year-old Dharla Jo Curry approached in her 1996 Buick and struck the parked Trinidad police car, causing it to collide with the vehicle that had been parked in the roadway. Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Miller, along with Deputies Blake Massaro and Chance Landernauex were struck by the vehicle, along with the male and female who had been involved in the earlier incident.
The California Highway Patrol said that after the initial impact, the car driven by Curry continued out of control and struck a Sheriff's car that had been parked on the shoulder.
Curry was arrested for felony driving under the influence, causing bodily harm and booked into the Humboldt County jail. The driver of the 2004 Chevy Cavalier, Tasha Henderson, was also arrested for driving under the influence.
Trinidad Police Chief Kenneth Thrailkill, who also responded to the incident, said Sunday that the particular stretch of highway where the incident occurred does not have an adequate shoulder to pull off the road and is notorious for vehicle collisions.
“It amazes me how no one was killed,” Thrailkill said.
Although he said the investigation into the incident was ongoing and he was waiting on a CHP report, Thrailkill said Deck, who graduated from College of the Redwoods’ Police Academy in January, appeared to have followed the department’s protocols.
It's plain sad that there are so many drunk idiots out there on the road . There are too many policemen that give there lives just so we can live without those drunks. May god be with him and his family, and the rest of the world's law enforcement community.
I almost lost a good buddy of mine with Stanislaus County SO in just that manner; HUA driver hit him while he was out of his vehicle assisting another. He suffered head injuries and still isn't back to work. The driver wasn't sanctioned in any way - It isn't illegal to be an idiot.
With regard to the DUI up north, that's why the Chippies turn off their emergency lights while stopped on the shoulder of the highway. DUI's drive toward those lights like moths to flames...
Sorry to say, I don't think we'll solve the DUI problem anytime soon. People that are prone to DUI just don't care about anyone else or about acting in a responsible manner. Otherwise, they wouldn't drink and drive in the first place...
Even in a small town, where there are usually 3-6 Policemen, each officer who gave his life in the line of duty is given the respect as if he was the President themself. Around the small town I live in which has about 6 officers. When one of our Law Enforcement Officers gave himself to protect others, The town's Dispatcher played Amazing Grace over the Mutual Aid Channel and allowed all of the police units of the town and the other cities to say a final goodbye to their fallen brother. I listened to the entire broadcast on my scanner ( I locked out all the other channels). The fallen officer was given full respect for what he did. At the end of the broadcast, I had tears in my eyes for the officer, his brothers, and his family. I will always remember this when a Public Safety Person ( Police, Fire, Medical) is taken in the line of duty:
It is not how they died that made a difference, but rather it is how they Lived.
May god's peace and loving care be with those who have protected us all and kept us out of harm's way.