San Pablo, CA – El Cerrito Police Department (ECPD) Officer Jerrick Bernstine died in a multi-vehicle crash while on his way home from work on Jan. 9, according to his department.
The 26-year-old officer was traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 near San Pablo Dam Road at approximately 6:15 a.m. when the driver of a transit van lost control and crashed into a median, KRON reported.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) said the force of the crash sent the van into a spin before it came to rest pointed into oncoming traffic.
Officer Bernstine and two other vehicles were unable to stop before they crashed into the wrecked van, KRON reported.
Two individuals involved in the collision were transported to the hospital with severe injuries, according to the CHP.
Officer Bernstine succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
He died on his 26th birthday, according to a post on the Calvary Hill Community Church’s Facebook page.
The exact cause of the fatal collision remains under investigation.
Officer Bernstine joined the ECPD as an academy recruit in 2019 after working as an in-home caregiver, the department tweeted on Jan. 10.
He began serving as a ECPD officer in February of 2020.
“Officer Bernstine was passionate about giving back to his community,” the police department said. “In his two years with the ECPD he was recognized as a model officer, combining a humble personality with a tenacious crime fighting spirit.”
The department said the young officer “was everything a person could hope for in a police officer, citizen, teammate, son, brother, and friend.”
A fundraising campaign established to help Officer Bernstine’s family in the wake of their loss has raised over $24,000 so far.
Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Jerrick Bernstine, who lost his life in a traffic collision on Interstate 80 near San Pablo Dam Road this past Sunday, January 9, 2022. 💔
Photo cred @cityofelcerrito police department pic.twitter.com/xSrP0Pdb2T
— West County Wastewater (@WestCountyWD) January 11, 2022
#FundAHero In Memory of Officer JerrickBernstine💙1/9/22 @ElCerritoPD lost Ofc. Jerrick Bernstine who passed due to a traffic collision. Donations are going to help Officer Bernstine's family with funeral costs. He will be greatly missed & never forgotten. https://t.co/EQXpz9z3NE
— PORAC (@PORACalifornia) January 11, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of El Cerrito Police Department Officer Jerrick Bernstine, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.