Officer Ty

Elk Grove Police Chief Tim Albright addresses the death of Officer Ty Lenehan during a Jan. 21 press conference.  

An Elk Grove police motorcycle officer died after he was struck by a driver traveling the wrong way on Highway 99 in Sacramento during the early morning of Jan. 21. The California Highway Patrol announced that afternoon that the driver was intoxicated and they placed him under arrest.

Elk Grove Police Officer Ty Lenehan was the first officer to die on-duty in his city police department’s 16-year history. His identity was announced at a press conference held outside the Elk Grove police station this afternoon.

“Our hearts are broken,” Elk Grove Police Chief Tim Albright said at the conference. “I know that our community mourns with us, and while we will grieve together and mourn together, we will also remember together the sacrifice of Officer Tyler ‘Ty’ Lenehan.”

Authorities provided details on how the collision occurred. Lenehan was in uniform and using his police motorcycle when he drove on southbound Highway 99. Around 5:15 a.m., the CHP reported there was a wrong-way driver on that highway near 47th Avenue.

The CHP identified the driver as Jermaine Walton, 31, of Sacramento. They reported that he was driving a 2016 Dodge Challenger northbound in Lenehan’s southbound lane before he hit the officer in a head-on collision near the 12th Avenue exit. The impact caused the officer to be ejected from his motorcycle. Investigators currently don’t know how fast both drivers were traveling before the crash.

The CHP contacted Walton at the scene and found that he showed symptoms of alcohol intoxication. He was then arrested on felony DUI charges and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail.

Authorities closed all lanes near the crash site at southbound Highway 99 that morning so they could investigate the incident.

At the Elk Grove police’s press conference, Albright said that a law enforcement officer witnessed the collision and immediately provided medical aid to Lenehan. He was later taken to the UC Davis Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

“It’s an incredibly sad day for our organization, for our family, and our Elk Grove community,” Albright said.

The police chief gave details about Lenehan’s life and law enforcement career. The officer was a U.S. Air Force veteran and a father of two children. He started his law enforcement career 10 years ago when he worked as a reserve officer for the Citrus Heights police and later worked as a Galt police officer before he transferred to the Elk Grove police in 2016. Albright said that Lenehan realized his dream of becoming a motorcycle officer in 2020.

“(Lenehan) will be remembered for his infectious smile, his genuine and loyal heart, and his love for his God, his family, his profession, and this community,” the police chief said.

He later emphasized why community support matters.

“In these times, we heal with the support of our community,” Albright said.