SACRAMENTO -- Trudging through deserts in off road cars and motorcycles is one of Officer Michael Ericson's passions.
His friend Mark Naugle told FOX40 that the 47-year-old father of two explored countless states off-roading. "He has spent months in Alaska with his motorcycle and also in Baja with his motorcycle."
However, the U.S. Marine Veteran's adventures are on hold for now as he rests in a hospital bed at UC Davis Medical Center recovering from serious injuries.
Investigations said he was intentionally run over on westbound I-80 by Austin Scott.
"Officer Michael Ericson was the victim of a deliberate attempt to murder a police officer.
This was not an accident. Rather Officer Ericson was a victim of an assault by a motor vehicle," said Commander Andy Williams with the CHP.
The 17-year CHP vet's condition is critical but stable. He had one surgery and has more surgeries ahead of him. Out of respect for the family, the CHP won't released the extent of his injuries. Friends are still trying to wrap their minds around what happened.
"Just disbelief it took a couple minutes for it to really sink in. I was really in shock when I heard about it," said Naugle.
In the world of off road racing, and in everyday life, Naugle said Ericson is the kind of guy you want on your side.
Ericson is engaged to be married. Teammates describe him as honest and kind. He's spent the last six years of his CHP career in North Sacramento. He's also put in time in San Francisco, Napa and Solano.
Anyone with information on this incident who hasn't be interviews yet is asked to call the CHP at (916) 861-1300.