Point Reyes Station, CA – Marin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Deputy Ryan Zirkle, 24, was killed in the line of duty just after midnight on Thursday, as he responded to a 911 hangup call, the sheriff said.
Deputy Zirkle was driving his patrol vehicle along a wet, winding coastline road, and lost control of the car as he entered a left curve, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said, according to KTVU.
The cruiser skidded of the right-hand side of the road, before it slammed into a tree.
The crash occurred in a very rural area of the county, approximately one mile north of Point Reyes Station, Marin County Sheriff Bob Doyle said during a 1 p.m. press conference.
Someone in the area heard the collision, and alerted police.
When dispatchers were unable to reach Deputy Zirkle, they dispatched another member of the sheriff’s office to the area, Sheriff Doyle said.
The deputy arrived to find Deputy Zirkle trapped inside his patrol car.
He summonsed additional fire, medical, and law enforcement personnel to the scene, and the team was able to free Deputy Zirkle approximately 35 minutes later.
Deputy Zirkle was rushed to a local hospital by helicopter, where he succumbed to the injuries..
“As you can imagine, today is a sad and difficult day,” Sheriff Doyle said.
He said that Deputy Zirkle “always had a smile on his face,” and described him as a “very, very positive” person.
The young deputy was part of the department’s future, which added to the tragedy of his death, Sheriff Doyle said.
He had been with the department for two and one half years.
Deputy Zirkle was due to celebrate his 25th birthday in 11 days, and had just purchased a home with his fiancé, the sheriff said.
He was raised in Novato, and graduated from Sacramento State University.
“He was enthusiastic,” Sheriff Doyle said. “He wanted to serve his community that he grew up in.”
Deputy Zirkle is survived by his fiancé, his parents, and his two older brothers.
Memorial details have not been scheduled yet, the sheriff said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Marin County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Zirkle, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.