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Hero Down: Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Harris Dies In Crash Responding To Call For Backup

San Jacinto, CA – Riverside County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) Deputy Brett Harris died in the line of duty on May 13 after he was involved in a two-vehicle crash while responding to a call for service, according to his department.

The fatal collision occurred at the intersection of State Street and Esplanade Avenue at approximately 2:15 a.m. on May 12, RCSO Sergeant Deirdre Vickers told KTLA.

Deputy Harris, 26, was responding to a call for backup when his Ford Explorer patrol vehicle collided with a Nissan Maxima being driven by a 56-year-old woman, according to KTLA.

The sedan hit the patrol SUV on the driver’s side, then sent it careening into a light pole, the Daily Bulletin reported.

The woman in the Nissan was transported to the hospital with minor-to-moderate injuries, according to KTLA.

The sheriff’s office said in a press release on Sunday that Deputy Harris suffered “a catastrophic brain injury” and other injuries as a result of the wreck.

One of his fellow deputies was hurt while trying to help him at the scene, Sgt. Vickers told KTLA.

“A second deputy that responded to the collision was also injured while attempting to extract the deputy from his vehicle,” the RCSO said. “That deputy was also transported to a local hospital, where he was treated for a knee injury and released.”

Deputy Harris was ultimately extricated from the SUV and rushed to the hospital in critical condition, the Daily Bulletin reported.

“In a final act of Service Above Self, it was Deputy Harris’s wish to donate his organs so that others may live,” the sheriff’s office said in the press release.

The young deputy passed away on May 13.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal collision, the Daily Bulletin reported.

Deputy Harris was assigned to the RCSO’s Hemet Station at the time of his death, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

He leaves behind his wife, as well as his parents, brother, and his twin sister.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brett Harris, 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.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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