MODESTO (AP) — A sheriff's deputy and a community service officer have died in Modesto when the patrol car they were riding in struck a building and caught fire.
Authorities said Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Garner and his passenger, Officer Raschel Johnson, were responding to a burglary call when their car swerved and hit an auto wreckage business Saturday morning.
Garner was driving north on Crows Landing Road approaching Seventh Street, with Johnson riding as a passenger, when for unknown reasons the patrol vehicle left the roadway and crashed on the Modesto Auto Wreckers property on the west side of the road, Officer Thomas Olsen, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol told the Modesto Bee.
The vehicle somehow ended up atop a dumpster, where it caught fire.
"Emergency personnel arrived on scene to a fully engulfed vehicle and they did everything they could to save the two occupants of the vehicle," Olsen told the Bee. "It is a sad day for us here in Stanislaus County, for all of us."
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Garner was a 9-year veteran of the department and Johnson was a worked there for 15 years.
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