MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (BCN and KTVU) - A 24-year-old Marin County sheriff's deputy who died in a crash early Thursday morning is being remembered as enthusiastic and always having a smile on his face, according to Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle.
The deputy has been identified as Deputy Ryan Zirkle. He had been with the Marin County Sheriff's Office for 2.5 years.
According to Sheriff Doyle, Deputy Zirkle grew up in Novato and wanted to serve the community he grew up in. Deputy Zirkle leaves behind his fiance. The couple had just bought a home together in Petaluma.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a preliminary investigation indicates Deputy Zirkle was responding to a 911 call hang-up call when he lost control of his vehicle as he entered a left curve in the roadway on Highway 1 near Cypress Road, just north of Point Reyes Station in west Marin County.
The vehicle went off the right side of the road and collided with a tree. Emergency crews responded and extracted Deputy Zirkle from the vehicle. Deputy Zirkle was flown to a local trauma center.
Deputy Zirkle died a short time later at Petaluma Valley Hospital.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. It wasn't raining, but the roadway was wet at the time, according to authorities.
The Sheriff said, "This is a tough time for all of us. We're grieving."
A procession for Deputy Zirkle is being planned for Thursday afternoon.