ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said a fire engineer died in a crash in Roseville while reporting for duty at his station in North Highlands on Saturday.
Kyle Rutherford, 38, crashed into a center divider on westbound I-80 near Atlantic Street in Roseville. California Highway Patrol officers located Rutherford unresponsive, and he was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.READ MORE: Firefighters Make All-Out Effort to Contain Explosive River Fire Near Colfax
The CHP said Rutherford was the only person in the vehicle and no other cars were involved. Rutherford was reportedly traveling in the left traffic lanes and, for reasons under investigation, he veered into the center divider, the CHP said.
“We’re shocked. This isn’t supposed to happen to somebody so young who had a young family and he left for work thinking he was going to come home in a few days to see his children, see his wife and his parents,” said Captain Chris Vestal.
Metro Fire said Rutherford is survived by his wife, Sheena, daughters, Leana and Lillian, sons, James and Grady, sister, Shaina, and parents Edward and Larelle.READ MORE: 'Everything Is Gone': Colfax Residents Lose Homes In Devastating River Fire
Vestal said those who worked closely with Rutherford describe him as an excellent engineer and someone always willing to help his team in whatever way he could.
Rutherford was hired by Metro Fire in March 2015 and was promoted to fire engineer in 2018, following in the footsteps of his retired father, the District said.
A motorcade for Rutherford traveled from Sutter Roseville to the morgue in Roseville. Metro Fire said the California Highway Patrol, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Roseville Police Department, Rocklin Fire Department, and Lincoln Police and Fire Departments all honored Rutherford during the procession.MORE NEWS: Search For Bear Injured In Tamarack Fire Continues After Wildlife Rescue Escape
“Kyle was in one of the most important positions in fire service, and that’s our engineer,” Vestal said. “He’s the guy who’s responsible for taking us to and from calls and drives us during emergency response, but also makes sure that firefighters have water at the end of the hose line when we are inside burning buildings.”