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California Highway Patrol officer Thomas Adams (24) was killed in a violent crash on U.S. Highway 101
Published: Jun 19, 2011 @ 4:45 PM
Thomas Adams (24)
Feb 15, 2011
Cause of Death:
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The Fortuna California Highway Patrol officer killed in a violent crash on U.S. Highway 101 near Piercy on Tuesday was a hardworking and enthusiastic teammate and colleague, those who knew him said.
Thomas Adams, 24, played football at Fortuna Union High School, then joined the CHP, working first in Oakland. He'd been at the Garberville office of the CHP for only four months, said CHP public information officer Erik Van Emmerik.
"The officers are taking it pretty hard," Van Emmerik said of Adams' colleagues.
Van Emmerik said that it was pouring rain at about 2:15 p.m. when, it appears, Adams' northbound car drifted into the southbound land of Highway 101. A 2004 Toyota Tundra pickup struck Adams' cruiser on the passenger-side door, and he suffered fatal injuries. The 39-year-old driver of the pickup, Jeff Kidd of Perris, and the 31-year-old passenger, Jared Geldhofbond of Riverside, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital for treatment, but have been able to give accounts of the wreck.
No arrests were made, and Van Emmerik said that neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to have been involved in the crash. A CHP accident investigation team from Redding is helping with the investigation.
The freeway was closed and traffic diverted through the night, and it reopened Wednesday morning.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of yesterday's fatality and our thoughts go out to the family during this difficult time," Caltrans District 1 Director Charlie Fielder said. "Caltrans and CHP work very closely together and we share in their loss as well."
Adams' former football coach Mike Benbow was shocked to hear the news. Benbow said that Adams played defensive end and tight end for the Huskies, always working hard and always with a smile on his face.
"He really worked hard to get the things that he had," Benbow said.
Benbow said that Adams has been recognized as a role model for high school students and players as someone who made good choices and was able to succeed.
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