Deputy Ken Collier

Dep. Ken Collier

End of Watch Feb. 28, 2010

On Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010, shortly after 3 a.m., Deputy Collier and his ride-along, sheriff’s dispatcher Ryan Debellis, came upon a wrong-way driver headed eastbound in the westbound lanes of Highway 52 in Santee, Calif.

Due to his concern for the safety and welfare of the driving public, Deputy Collier advised dispatch and tried to overtake the wrong-way driver. His patrol SUV was traveling in the auxiliary lane of the median when it struck a center median bridge abutment, rolled several hundred feet, and came to rest in a ravine. It took a tremendous effort by our deputies and other first responders to get Ken and Ryan up from the ravine where they could be treated by emergency medical personnel. Both were airlifted to local trauma centers.

Despite the valiant efforts of our deputies, officers from all over the county, emergency medical responders, and hospital personnel, Deputy Collier succumbed to his injuries.  Ryan Debellis is expected to make a full recovery.

Moments after the collision, the wrong-way driver was stopped driving the wrong way on Highway 52. He was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers between Mast Boulevard and Mission Gorge Road in Santee. The driver was charged with felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.