ELK GROVE (CBS13) – An Elk Grove Police Officer hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver had just lately frolicked in his group reminding individuals to not drink and drive. Officer Ty Lenehan was a husband, a father, and an air power veteran, however the title many give him is group hero.
“I cried. It’s heartbreaking. It’s simply heartbreaking,” mentioned Rhonda Campbell.
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Campbell is a sufferer advocate with Moms In opposition to Drunk Driving, or MADD, in Sacramento. She misplaced her sister who was simply 12 years previous to a drunk driver in 1981. Nevertheless it was only one month in the past when Officer Lenehan stood out on the road with Rhonda and her mom, Kathleen Harris, reminding drivers to not drink and drive.
“My coronary heart simply sank and I simply cried. I cried. It’s so so unhappy. They’re on the market to assist us. They’re on the market to serve us and it’s simply bought to cease,” mentioned Kathleen.
Investigators say 31-year-old Jermaine Walton was driving the mistaken manner on Freeway 99 when he hit Lenehan head-on whereas he was on his police bike.
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Court docket paperwork present Walton, now charged with DUI and homicide, has a historical past of drunk driving offenses.
“To see someone whose life dedication was serving his group and who stood subsequent to me and my household at a DUI checkpoint and attempt to do for the widespread good, you recognize, it’s heartbreaking,” mentioned Rhonda.
A memorial grows exterior the Elk Grove Police Division and a freeway billboard now marks Officer Lenehan’s “Finish Of Watch.” They’re messages from his group displaying that he’ll be missed as one of many final messages he put out to his group at a DUI checkpoint was one that ought to have saved his life.
“We misplaced an important officer. We misplaced an important human and someone who was making a distinction on the earth and that’s actually unhappy,” mentioned Rhonda.
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Rhonda says Officer Lenehan’s loss ought to stress the necessity for more durable DUI legal guidelines. She’s pushing for interlock gadgets to be required for repeat offenders. MADD says such gadgets stopped 28,000 drunk drivers from beginning their autos in 2020.
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