French Camp, CA – San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office (SJCSO) Correctional Sergeant Cesar Fuentes was killed in a motorcycle crash as he was leaving work on Jan. 12.
The fatal collision occurred on Matthews Road outside the SJCSO office at approximately 6:30 p.m., the department said in a press release.
The 32-year-old correctional sergeant was riding his Kawasaki motorcycle when he came upon a Ford pickup parked on the shoulder of the road, the Record reported.
The driver, 60-year-old Roger DeLaCruz suddenly pulled out in front of Correctional Sgt. Fuentes’ motorcycle to make a U-turn, at which point the motorcycle collided with the driver’s side of the truck.
Correctional Sgt. Fuentes was thrown from the bike and landed on the roadway.
“From what I understood, being the Marine that he was, he was able to gather himself and get back to his feet,” San Joaquin County Sheriff Patrick Withrow told the Record. “People called 911 and CHP and medics and fire arrived on scene and he was complaining of some back pain.”
He was transported to to San Juaquin General Hospital, where doctors discovered he was bleeding internally.
“He succumbed to his injuries in surgery,” Sheriff Withrow said.
Correctional Sgt. Fuentes was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served three tours of duty, according to the SJCSO.
He joined the department six years ago, and was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant.
“He was the future of our department,” Sheriff Withrow told the Record. “He was so well-loved, so well-respected…He’s the type of guy that was going to be here for a long time and continue on our tradition here at the sheriff’s department.”
The SJCSO said that Correctional Sgt. Fuentes’ sudden death marks an “extremely painful time for the Sheriff’s Office family.”
“The Sheriff’s Office family extends our gratitude to the outside agencies who participated in the procession from the hospital to the Forensic Pathology Facility,” the agency added. “Thank you for bringing our brother home, where we can keep watch over him until he is laid down for eternal rest.”
Correctional Sgt. Fuentes leaves behind his fiancé and many family members, the Record reported.
“They will cherish the memories they made together,” Sheriff Withrow said. “We at the Sheriff’s Office send them our deepest sympathy, love and prayers.”
A fundraising campaign established to help Correctional Sgt. Fuentes’ family in the wake of their loss has raised over $9,000.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Sergeant Cesar Fuentes, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.