UPDATE II: Deputy Jason Garner, a nine-year veteran of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, and Community Service Officer Raschel Johnson, who's been with the department for 15 years, have been identified as the victims in the fatal accident this morning in Modesto.
We will have an update on this story shortly.
UPDATE II: A Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department deputy and a community service officer died in a vehicle wreck in Modesto on Saturday morning.
The accident, which was reported at 8:19 a.m., occurred near the intersection of Crows Landing Road and Seventh Street.
The two were heading north on Crows Landing Road, the CSO riding as a passenger, to a burglary call when the vehicle crashed onto the property of Modesto Auto Wreckers just south of South Seventh Street, according to Officer Thomas Olsen, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.
“Emergency personnel arrived on scene to a fully engulfed vehicle and they did everything they could to save the two occupants of the vehicle,” he said. “It is a sad day for us here in Stanislaus County, for all of us.”
Firefighters draped American flags over the bodies, Olsen said.
The charred patrol vehicle could be seen atop a dumpster and another vehicle near the auto wrecker’s building. Emergency crews had to access the vehicle by ladder.
The identities of the two victims have not been released. Olsen said both had been with the department for about 16 years.
The California Highway Patrols Multidisciplinary accident investigation Team came from Fresno to investigate the crash.
The deaths come exactly six months after the department lost another deputy.
On Nov. 13, Dennis Wallace was killed in the line of duty while investigating a report of a stolen vehicle at Fox Grove Park in Hughson.
We’ll have more on this breaking news story later today.