A California Highway Patrol officer who was investigating a crash on Interstate 80 over the weekend has died, his agency said Monday.
Nathan Daniel Taylor, 35, succumbed to his injuries Sunday after getting struck by a vehicle Saturday about 2:25 p.m. on westbound Interstate 80 at Castle Peak Road, when he was struck by a vehicle, the CHP said in a statement. Taylor suffered major injuries and was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, NV.
NBC affiliate KCRA said he was standing near his patrol vehicle providing traffic control for a previous injury crash near the Donner Lake Interchange when the driver of a Nissan Pathfinder changed lanes and lost control, striking the officer.
“It is an incredibly sad day for Officer Taylor’s family, the CHP, and the State of California,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a statement. “The loss of an officer protecting our community is truly devastating.”
It’s the first fatality for the CHP since two officers were killed in Fresno County in February 2014.
Taylor, who was a resident of Rocklin, graduated from the CHP Academy in 2010 and worked in the agency's San Jose-area office before being transferred to the Gold Run area in January 2013.
"It's always a tragedy when anyone in the law enforcement community dies in the line of duty like that," said CHP Officer James Menard, who went to the academy with Taylor and worked him for two years in the San Jose office. "But when it's a classmate, someone you worked with, it's deeply personal."
Taylor leaves behind his wife Rebecca; three sons ages 3, 5, and 8; parents Jeff and Linda; and two brothers, one of whom is a CHP officer.
From 2010 to 2013, Taylor worked at the San Jose-area office, where he was assigned to patrol, CHP Officer Ross Lee said.
Taylor was an intelligent and "service-oriented" person who was devoted to his family, Lee said.
"You'd be very hard-pressed to find anything less than the highest level of service from him," Lee said.
Taylor's passing was "shocking and surreal," and many people in the San Jose office are still processing the news, Lee said.
NBC Bay Area's Ian Cull and Bay City News contributed to this report.