SACRAMENTO - Two pedestrians are dead after they were hit by a Sacramento police detective driving on southbound I-5 Tuesday morning.
According to a CHP spokesperson, at around 6:16 a.m., CHP Dispatch received word of a crash involving a vehicle and at least one pedestrian along southbound Interstate 5 near the Sutterville Road onramp in Sacramento.
Officers arrived at the scene and found that two men and a truck had been hit by a vehicle.
They determined that a disabled Dodge pickup truck, which may have run out of gas, had stopped on the shoulder and that an SUV pulled over to assist the truck. One man from the truck and one man from the SUV were standing on the left-hand side of the truck when, for unknown reasons, an unmarked Sacramento Police Department Ford Fusion going southbound went over the solid white line and hit the truck from behind and the two men, officers learned.
One man died at the scene and the other died on the way to the hospital. A Sacramento County coroner has since identified both men as 33-year-old Juan Carlos Rodriguez of Sacramento and 32-year-old Lionel Enriquez Rodriguez of Simi Valley.
Family has since confirmed the two victims were brothers.
The white Dodge pickup truck and maroon SUV were registered to Juan Carlos Rodriguez.
The driver of the Ford, who was later identified as a Sacramento Police Department detective, stayed on the scene. The detective was on duty at the time and was not injured. The CHP does not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.
A Sacramento Police Department statement about the crash reads:
"The Sacramento Police Department can confirm that one of its detectives was involved in a vehicle collision resulting in two fatalities this morning on Interstate 5. We understand that there are many questions surrounding this incident."
At around 2 p.m., all lanes of the freeway lanes reopened to traffic.
Mark Leavitt, a spokesperson for California Highway Patrol, said the investigation will likely take some time. All three vehicles involved in the crash, including the unmarked Sacramento Police Department vehicle, were taken to the CHP evidence tow for further investigation.
Leavitt said, at this point, drugs and alcohol have been ruled out as contributing factors to the crash.
"There is no bias at all. We are transparent, and open, and definitely, as much information as we can put out at this point, that doesn't hinder the investigation, we will," said Leavitt.
CHP would have always been the investigating agency because of the location of the crash on the main highway. CalTrans was responsible for closing the on-ramp and assisting with closures during the day, this was also standard protocol according to Leavitt. Ultimately, Sacramento Police would not have ever been involved in this scene unless explicitly requested by CHP.
A spokesperson for the Sacramento Police Department did not respond to CBS13 requests Tuesday for more information about the status of the detective and whether they were on administrative leave during the investigation.
"We take every traffic collision seriously, especially one that involves multiple fatalities," said Leavitt.
At least two chaplains were on-scene near Sutterville Road on Tuesday to provide support and services.
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