A California Highway Patrol officer was last reported in intensive care at UC Davis Medical Center after he was struck on Thursday by a hit-and-run driver on westbound Interstate 80 just east of Madison Avenue.
CHP officers credited other motorists and an off-duty Sacramento firefighter-paramedic with coming to the officer’s aid.
Officer Tommy Riggin, a CHP spokesman, said during a Thursday news conference that he had no details about the officer’s injuries or his condition. He said the officer had been in and out of surgery after being taken to the medical center by helicopter.
The officer was identified late Thursday night as Michael Ericson, a 17-year-veteran of the CHP. He was listed in critical condition at the hospital Friday morning where he remained in the intensive care unit.
Riggin said the motorcycle officer was struck about 1:10 p.m. in the median of the freeway. He said it is not known whether Ericson had pulled over to aid a disabled motorist or to conduct an enforcement stop, but the driver put the vehicle into reverse, striking the officer, then drove off.
“One of our own was injured intentionally, and that’s something we can’t comprehend,” he said. Riggin asked for prayers for the officer and his family.
Dozens of fellow officers gathered at UC Davis Medical Center in the afternoon to show support for him and his family.
Officer Jenna Berry, a spokeswoman for the CHP’s North Sacramento Area Office, to which the injured officer is assigned, said investigators were trying to determine the sequence of events.
Sharon McIntyre, a firefighter-paramedic with the Sacramento Fire Department, said she was en route to a training class when she came upon the scene and stopped to render aid.
Honestly, it was a very proud moment to see how many people had, out of human kindness, stopped to help him out.
Sharon McIntyre, a firefighter-paramedic with the Sacramento Fire Department
She said at least a dozen people had stopped and were trying to help Ericson. Some, she said, were attempting to use the radio on his motorcycle to report the collision, while others were rendering physical aid.
“Honestly, it was a very proud moment to see how many people had, out of human kindness, stopped to help him out,” McIntyre said.
McIntyre administered medical aid to the officer at the scene and accompanied him on the flight to the hospital.
The suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken into custody in Solano County less than an hour after the collision.
Officer David Harvey, a spokesman for the CHP’s Solano Office, said a pursuit of the driver ended at Manuel Campos Parkway off Interstate 80 in Fairfield about 1:50 p.m. The driver was identified only as a male.
When stopped in Fairfield, the suspect was driving a vehicle that was reported stolen from a contractor working on the California Department of Transportation’s “Across the Top” project on Interstate 80.
Dennis Keaton, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, said a damaged vehicle was left in the construction area and a vehicle belonging to Bay Cities Paving and Grading was stolen.
Westbound lanes of Interstate 80 were closed from several hours for investigation of the collision and westbound motorists were diverted to Greenback Lane. Caltrans reported at 6:30 p.m. that all lanes had reopened.