Deputy Sroeuy Khin
Photo credit: Alameda County Sheriff’s Office
LIVERMORE, California — Tragedy struck the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office for the second time in three months after an off-duty deputy was killed Friday morning when his car was hit by a bus on Interstate 580, authorities said.
The deputy, identified by Sheriff Greg Ahern as Sroeuy Khin, was killed after working an overtime shift at Santa Rita Jail, a day before his 51st birthday.
“He’s one of our hardest working employees,” Ahern said at a 1 p.m. news conference. “It’s a tragic loss for his family and it’s a tragic loss yet again for the law enforcement community.”
The driver of the bus, which was taking 51 Tesla employees from Fremont to Stockton, told investigators he did not see the car because the sun was in his eyes, California Highway Patrol Officer Derek Reed said.
Khin, who has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 2007 and lived near Tracy, leaves behind a wife and four children, Ahern said. He was one of Ahern’s first hires and previously worked as a courtroom deputy.
Khin’s death comes less than three months after another deputy was hit by a prison bus while walking near Santa Rita Jail. Deputy Mike Foley died Feb. 23 in a hospital from head trauma injuries. Foley served as a deputy for 10 years and a Concord police officer for 30 years.
“It’s too much too soon,” Ahern said. “It’s really tragic.”
Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said Friday morning, “We are heartbroken. Again.”
The collision was reported at 7:10 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-580 east of Grant Line Road, the California Highway Patrol said.
Reed said the bus was going about 65 mph in the second lane from the center divider when it hit the deputy’s Volkswagen that was in front of it. Authorities said Khin was either stopped or had slowed down before his car was hit.
The impact partially crushed the Volkswagen Beetle and firefighters had to extricate the deputy from the vehicle, Reed said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. CHP officers found Khin’s identification and ID badge at the scene, Ahern said. Authorities covered his body with an American flag before a police escort led his body to the coroner’s office in Oakland.
Reed said one of the Tesla employees had a complaint of pain but was not hospitalized. The bus had just left the Tesla facility in Fremont. No other injuries were reported.
At this point in the investigation, it does not appear that drugs or alcohol played a role, Reed said.
A Tesla spokesperson said in a prepared statement the collision involved “an independently-operated shuttle carrying Tesla employees” and that all of the employees on the bus “are safe and accounted for.”
The statement added, “However, we are deeply saddened by reports that there was a fatality as a result of the accident. We will lend any support that we can to the authorities who are investigating the incident.”
CHP Commander Chris Sherry asked any witnesses of the crash to call CHP at (925) 828-0466.
Two lanes of the freeway were expected to reopen at 2 p.m. remained closed as of 11 a.m. Eastbound traffic was backed up for 20 miles while the CHP investigated, authorities said.
Staff writer David DeBolt contributed to this report.
Copyright 2017 The East Bay Times
Tribune News Service
SOURCE: EAST BAY TIMES & OFFICER.COM