In its investigation into the wreck that killed two Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department employees on Saturday, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said Wednesday his agency is looking at several clips of surveillance videos to try to figure out just what happened.
Deputy Jason Garner and Community Service Officer Raschel Johnson were killed Saturday morning when the vehicle Garner was driving along Crows Landing Road near Seventh Street went off the road before crashing and bursting into flames.
“We’re looking at a lot of surveillance video from along Crows Landing Road, to decipher the driving pattern,” said Officer Thomas Olsen, spokesman for the CHP’s Modesto office. “We saw the earlier video (surveillance footage from a Crows Landing Road business) – everyone’s seen that.”
The CHP reported Sunday that the vehicle went off on the dirt shoulder on the west side of the road, hit a pole, struck the northeast corner of the building at 531 Crows Landing Road before coming to a stop and catching fire.
Surveillance video from Star Auto Sales, at the corner of Crows Landing and Seventh, shows the deputy’s vehicle skidding off the road at a high rate of speed and kicking up a plume of dust seconds before the crash.
Investigators are looking for something to indicate why the car was “traveling at a higher rate of speed and provide some clarity as to why the collision occurred,” Olsen said.
Garner and Johnson were responding to a prior burglary call that was not in progress, Undersherrif Ralph Ghimenti said Saturday.
The road there “is pretty rough, but the reality is it’s like a lot of road surface in the county,” Olsen said. “There’s a lot of loose gravel on the shoulders, but if you stay on the roadway, it’s fine.”
The accident remains under investigation by the CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327