Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Harris dies after injury in San Jacinto crash

A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy critically injured in a collision on Friday, May 12 has died, the Sheriff’s Department announced Sunday morning.

Brett Harris, 26, who was assigned to the Hemet station, was responding as backup to a call when his Ford Explorer patrol SUV collided with a Nissan Maxima in a San Jacinto intersection, authorities said.

The deputy was driving west on Esplanade Avenue and a 54-year-old woman from Hemet was driving north on State Street when the SUV and sedan collided at about 2:15 a.m.  The intersection has traffic signals.

The SUV was hit on the driver’s side. After the collision, it crashed into a light pole.

Harris suffered major injuries, including a catastrophic brain injury, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

With immense sadness and a heavy heart, that we announce that RSO has lost another deputy in a line of duty death, Deputy Brett Harris, EOW: 5/13/23

Link to PR:

— Riverside County Sheriff (@RSO) May 14, 2023

A second deputy injured a knee when he tried to free the critically injured deputy from the SUV, said Sgt. Wenndy Brito-Gonzalez, a department spokeswoman. Harris had to be cut out of the vehicle. The second deputy was treated at a hospital and released.

The civilian driver and a second person were hospitalized, authorities said. Their injuries were described as moderate and minor.

CHP Officer Jason Montez did not say which driver was at fault. The CHP is investigating the crash.

Harris’s organs will be donated, the Sheriff’s Department announced.

His survivors include his wife, parents, twin sister and a brother. Funeral arrangements are pending.

This is a developing story. Additional information will be added when it becomes available.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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