MODESTO (CBS13) – The Modesto Police Department is mourning the death of a sergeant killed while off-duty by a DUI suspect.

The crash happened around 6 p.m. Tuesday along Merle Avenue, near Savage Middle School.

Investigators say 38-year-old Sgt. Michael Pershall was riding his bike when he was hit from behind. The car then crashed into a fire hydrant.

Officials say the Pershall had been with the department since 2012 and was recently promoted to Police Sergeant — beginning his work as “frontline” supervisor and leader within the organization, according to a statement from the Modesto Police Department.

“Mike’s loss creates a tremendous void within our organization and within the hearts of those he touched” said Chief Galen Carroll. “We are forever grateful for the moments we shared with him”.

The driver of the vehicle, 32-year-old Matthew Gibbs, remained on scene after the crash.

He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.


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