SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has released a statement mourning Officer Tyler “Ty” Lenehan, who authorities say was hit and killed by an allegedly intoxicated wrong-way driver in Sacramento.
Officer Tyler “Ty” Lene passed away on Friday, Jan. 21 after suffering major injuries in a crash on Highway 99 involving a wrong-way driver.
“Jennifer and I join all the family, friends and Elk Grove Police Department colleagues mourning the tragic loss of Officer Lenehan, who devoted his life to protecting his country and community,” Gov. Newsom wrote in a statement. “We are grateful for the many brave men and women like Officer Lenehan who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.”
In honor of Officer Lenehan, Newsom announced that the Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff on Saturday.
Officials say the crash happened around 5:00 a.m. when California Highway Patrol officers were called out to the area of Highway 99 and 47th Avenue for a report of a car driving northbound in the southbound lanes.
A short time later, someone called 9-1-1 to report that the wrong-way driver had just crashed into Lenehan’s motorcycle near 12th Avenue.
When officers arrived, they found Lenehan had been thrown from his bike and was suffering from life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to a local hospital, where officials say he later died.
“This is an incredibly sad day for the Elk Grove Police Department and the Elk Grove community,” said Elk Grove Chief of Police, Timothy Albright. “We grieve for Ty’s family, our law enforcement family and the Elk Grove community.”
Lenehan is a United States Air Force veteran who worked as an Elk Grove Police Officer for the last six years. In 2020, officials say he became a motor officer with the department and was ‘extremely excited to begin’ his new assignment. Albright said Lenehan leaves behind a wife and two children.
At the scene of the crash, officers also found the driver, later identified as 31-year-old Jermain J. Walton, had gotten out of his car and was trying to walk away from the wreckage.
Officers say Walton was displaying signs of being under the influence of alcohol and was placed under arrest.
The events leading up to the crash are still under investigation.