Crime - Sacto 911

CHP: Vehicle crossed in front of officer during fatal chase of motorcyclist

A California Highway Patrol officer died from injuries he suffered Wednesday when he was involved in a crash during a high-speed chase in south Sacramento and thrown from his motorcycle.

Lucas F. Chellew, 31, an eight-year veteran of the CHP died at 6:11 p.m. at UC Davis Medical Center, authorities announced in a 9:30 p.m. news conference at the hospital.

“My heart aches on this terribly tragic day for the CHP as we have lost a hero, who swore a sacred and honorable oath to serve and protect the people of California,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a written statement. “Please keep Officer Chellew’s family, friends and the entire CHP family in your thoughts and prayers as they mourn his loss.”

A news release from CHP public information officer Ruth Loehr said that during the pursuit of the motorcyclist, a silver vehicle crossed in front of Chellew’s motorcycle. The officer took evasive action but still collided with the right side of the vehicle, causing Chellew to lose control of his motorbike. The crash happened at about 5:45 p.m., just past Stockton Boulevard, the CHP said in a news release.

The officer suffered major injuries, and first responders “worked tirelessly” to keep him alive at the scene and en route to the hospital, Officer Tommy Riggin, a CHP spokesman, said.

“Tragically, despite the valiant efforts of the paramedics and medical professionals, Officer Chellew did succumb to his injuries,” Riggin said.

The fleeing suspect got away; no arrests had been made as of 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff. Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement offering his condolences in the death of the young officer.

“Officer Chellew’s great courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten,”​ the statement read in part.

A bell ringing ceremony in the officer’s memory will be held at noon Thursday at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento.

Chellew was assigned to the CHP’s South Sacramento Area Office, officials said.

The area of Fruitridge Road and Stockton Boulevard remained closed to traffic for several hours, as the Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department assisted the CHP at the scene.

Chellew leaves a wife and two children – a son and a daughter – according to the CHP.

Chellew, whose parents lived in Rocklin, graduated from the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento in 2009, according to a story that Rocklin’s Placer Herald newspaper published at the time.

Chellew was a 2003 graduate of Bear River High School in Nevada County, the newspaper said. He served in the Army for five years, attaining the rank of sergeant, before joining the CHP, it said.

In addition to his wife and children, Lucas Chellew is survived by his mother, father, and a sister, the CHP said.

His father, Charles Chellew, was a captain and commander of the CHP’s North Sacramento area office, according to the Placer Herald.

Chellew’s younger sister, Hanna Chellew, also is a CHP officer who graduated from the CHP Academy in 2009, the Roseville and Granite Bay Press Tribune reported when she completed cadet training.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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