MODESTO, CA- An off-duty officer with the Oakdale Police Department was killed in a chain-reaction collision in west Modesto Thursday.
The crash was on Highway 132 and Maze Boulevard west of Hart Road in a Caltrans work zone for crack repairs on the road. At the time, the California Highway Patrol says aCaltrans flag man was stopping eastbound traffic on Maze Boulevard because the westbound lanes were closed for repairs and one-way traffic was in effect.
CHP Officer Eric Parsonssaid a black Nissan had stopped and a Honda behind it had stopped but a big rig following the off-duty officer's Honda didn't stop in time. The semi struck the Honda which pushed into the Nissan.
The 30-year-old driver of theHonda, Oakdale police Officer Paul Katuszonek, was killed. The Nissan struck the Caltrans worker, identified as 52-year-old Brian Smith. Smith, whose condition the CHP described as serious, was taken by air ambulance to an area hospital.
According to Parsons, the preliminary investigation suggests adequateconstruction signagehad been posted.