Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Officer Down News

-4

CHP: Officer At Fault for Head-On Collision That Took His Life

CHP: Officer At Fault for Head-On Collision That Took His Life

San Diego Union Tribune

February 16, 2011

MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA – A preliminary CHP investigation indicates that Garberville CHP officer Thomas Adams crossed into oncoming traffic Tuesday, causing the crash that took his life in northern Mendocino County.

Adams, 24, had been on-duty for a little more than 6 hours when the 2:15 p.m. crash occurred on Highway 101 near Piercy, just south of the Mendocino-Humboldt county line, the CHP said.

He was northbound on a right-hand curve in wet weather when he veered into the southbound fast lane and somehow spun so that his passenger side was exposed to oncoming traffic, Officer Erik Van Emmerik said.

A 2004 Toyota Tundra truck that struck his passenger side came part-way into Adams’ Ford Crown Victoria. The force of the impact that likely caused his fatal injuries, Van Emmerik said.

“If you combine the two speeds, it’s quite an impact,” he said.

Two men in the Tundra, driver Jeff W. Kidd of Perris and his passenger, Riverside resident Jared P. Geldhofbond, were taken to Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville for treatment of minor injuries to their hands and feet, authorities said. Both later were released, the CHP said.

Adams, a Fortuna native, had been with the CHP for about two years, working first in Oakland and transferring last fall to the Garberville station, which covers southern Humboldt County and northern Mendocino County, from Brooktrails outside Willits north.

He was one of 18 officers working the area, including six officers in the Laytonville resident post and 12 working the road out of the Garberville station, Van Emmerik said.

“It’s a small office, so we’re taking it kind of hard,” he said. “It’s going to be a sad day, that’s for sure.”

In a statement offering condolences to Adams’ parents, Bruce and Karen, Gov. Jerry Brown said capitol flags would be lowered to half-staff in honor of the officer.

Brown said he and his wife, Anne “join all Californians in offering our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Officer Thomas Adams.

“Thomas spent the last two years as a Highway Patrol officer keeping Californians safe from the Bay Area to the Northern Coast,” Brown said in his statement. “His courage, service and sacrifice will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with those grieving this tragic loss.”

Adams was working a 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. shift and was on patrol near Piercy when he died, Van Emmerik said.

Dispatch records indicated he was not en route to a specific assignment, and it remained unclear if he had seen a speeder or observed some other traffic violation, Van Emmerik said.

Authorities, who were hampered by rain during their their investigation Tuesday night, expected to contact additional witnesses Wednesday to determine whether Adams had activated his lights or siren before the crash, Van Emmerik said.

The CHP’s Redding-based Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team, or MAIT, which specializes in accident reconstruction and speed and position calculations, also was expected to arrive and conduct a separate investigation, he said.


-4
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Sheepdog1

    over 3 years ago

    480 Comments

    RIP brother

  • Photo_max50

    dcrump

    over 3 years ago

    192 Comments

    R.I.P. our law enforcement brother!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MP247

    over 3 years ago

    332 Comments

    Rest in Peace Officer Adams

  • Dhs_max50

    WACollector

    over 3 years ago

    764 Comments

    Rest In Peace, Brother.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    aussie4

    over 3 years ago

    5328 Comments

    No matter who's fault it was, this is a sad one. God Bless LEO Adams and his family

  • 12235_sq90_max50

    chiefkcr

    over 3 years ago

    3614 Comments

    RIP Brother. GOD be with you and yours.

  • 014_max50

    securetexas

    over 3 years ago

    1038 Comments

    RIP Brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Rest in peace, my brother. May God comfort and Bess your family and friends.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    npd783

    over 3 years ago

    1156 Comments

    Rest In Peace Brother

  • 041105-o-9999g-012_max50

    Rscheiterle

    over 3 years ago

    1822 Comments

    RIP

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    forgottenravin

    over 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    R.I.P.,..he was with the crew of CHP that helped me the night my Explorer exploded!,..Matter of fact, this was the officer that had drove myself as well as my son ALL the way down to the cove,..and even WAITED until the tow truck came with my keys so I could open my door,...it is a great loss to society when a good cop, goes down,...knowing that they are so few and far in between!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Rest in Peace!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    walvira

    over 3 years ago

    44 Comments

    RIP!! NOW YOU WILL BE IN HEAVEN WITH THE ANGEL COPS. MY CONDOLENCE TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS. HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTON. ...MS W. ROSADO

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    milcop

    over 3 years ago

    762 Comments

    RIP my Brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    rip

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Photo_user_blank_big
dptydawg02 is ranked No.3 for the day in PoliceTrivia, 9 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
dptydawg02 is ranked No.3 for the day in PoliceTrivia, 9 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
dptydawg02 is ranked No.3 for the day in PoliceTrivia, 9 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
wiedies received the quiz result of "You did not receive a passing score", 41 minutes ago.
Cruise_2014_max30
BigNTS is ranked No.4 of all-time in PoliceTrivia, 42 minutes ago.