Two Galt police officers battle for their lives in local hospitals after being struck head-on on Highway 99 in the early morning of Aug. 22.
Officers Harminder Grewal and Kapri Herrera were on their way to assist at the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County when a southbound Dodge Ram pickup collided with the center median around 4:30 a.m., and broke through the concrete barrier. The CHP reported that the truck then entered the highway’s northbound lanes and crashed into the officers’ patrol car.
This collision occurred just south of Dillard Road, near Elk Grove’s southern border. Emergency personnel reportedly did not know two of their own were involved until they arrived at the scene. The Cosumnes Fire Department dispatched fire personnel and apparatuses from Galt, only to be met with a half- mile of backed up traffic.
Cosumnes Fire Chief Felipe Rodriguez said that the initial arriving crews, Engine and Medic 46, had to walk approximately half a mile to the scene, while carrying medical equipment to aid the accident victims.
Due to vehicles blocking both northbound lanes, the initial arriving captain requested for additional units to access the scene from the north using Grant Line Road as an entrance point, Rodriguez said.
Emergency vehicles then traveled south on the northbound lanes to reach the accident scene, where the Galt police vehicle was lodged against the K-Rail.
Rodriguez said over a dozen firefighters manually pushed the patrol car away from the K-Rail to help gain access to the trapped officers inside.
Both Grewal and Herrera were transported to local trauma centers. Herrera was taken to UC Davis Medical Center, while Grewal was moved to Kaiser South Sacramento.
As of press time, Herrera is in ICU, listed as critical but stable condition. Officer Grewal is also in ICU; however, he is listed as critical.
Both officers are relatively new to the Galt police force. Grewal was sworn into service for the city in 2019 and was just recently awarded accolades from the California MADD organization for his efforts of keeping roadways safe from drivers under the influence.
Herrera was sworn into service just four months ago at the first public ceremony since the start of the pandemic.
Herrera began her career at the Lodi Police Department, but she wanted to return to her hometown where she graduated from Liberty Ranch High School in 2015.
The driver of the Dodge has been identified as Manjot Singh Thind, 25, of Manteca. Thind sustained fatal injuries and was declared deceased at the scene, while the two Dodge passengers suffered moderate injuries. The passengers were transported to a local hospital. No further medical updates for the passengers were available, as of press time.
The CHP reported it is unknown at this time if alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in this collision.