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Hero Down: El Cerrito Police Officer Jerrick Bernstine Dies In Crash On Way Home From Work

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 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.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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