LIVERMORE, Calif. - A California Highway Patrol officer was killed when he crashed into a tree in Livermore during a search to find a suspected drunk driver, authorities said today.
Officer John Miller, 32, was driving south on North Livermore Avenue about a mile north of Interstate 580 when he crashed his Ford Crown Victoria into a tree at about 9:15 p.m. Friday after losing control on a sharp curve, said CHP Officer Steve Creel.
Miller and other CHP officers were searching for a suspected drunken driver when the collision occurred, the CHP said. It was dark, and the two-lane rural road is not lit, authorities said.
CHP dispatchers lost contact with Miller, and a motorist later reported that his car had crashed into a tree, Creel said.
Miller crashed on a part of the road where it curves sharply to the right and descends, Creel said. The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the CHP'S Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team.
Livermore police located the drunken driving suspect on eastbound I-580 near Greenville Road, and the suspect was arrested by the CHP, Creel said.
A Lodi resident, Miller joined the CHP office in Dublin in March after graduating from the six-month CHP Academy in West Sacramento. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.
Miller is the first Dublin CHP officer to die on duty since 1991, when the office was established, Creel said.
"It's law enforcement," CHP Sgt. Les Bishop said today. "You have danger coming at you at all angles at every time. It shows the dedication of every single officer, because we all know the job is dangerous-but when you love the job, it doesn't really matter."