SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Friday morning, Elk Grove Police Department (EGPD) Officer Tyler Lenehan was in full uniform driving southbound into work on his department-issued motorcycle on Highway 99 near 12th Avenue when he was hit by a wrong way driver on the highway. A day later, some of his friends spoke with ABC10 to share their memories of him. One of them, Jim McGavock.
McGavock continues to mourn the loss of Officer Lenehan, someone who he describes as a close friend since childhood.
"It's sad that we only got a little bit of time with him," said McGavock. "We did everything together. It was one of those things where I was his wingman and he was my wingman — whether it was jumping off trees into the pond, or rollerblading or skiing."
McGavock said he knew Lenehan wanted to become a motor cop since they were kids — a dream that was turned into reality. When he found out that Lenehan was killed in the line of duty on Friday, he said he couldn't believe it.
"My heart goes out to his family, his mom and dad, his two brothers and his wife and kids," he said. "Just tragic all around."
Mike Loveless describes Lenehan as a man of faith who loved God. They became friends when they both attended Rescue Baptist Church in Shingle Springs. Loveless said they would gather weekly at his house for fellowship and play the fiddle together.
"He'd call me up and say 'I need my Mike fix' and he'd show up," said Loveless. "I liked him a lot and I thought the world of him — we mostly talked about spiritual things and the condition of the world, the gospel, the truth that we shared with one another."
Loveless says the fact that Lenehan is no longer on this earth is painful, but he finds comfort in knowing that he's in a better place now.
"I will miss him," said Loveless.
Saturday morning, the Elk Grove Police Department announced a memorial account has been created to help support Officer Lenehan's family. The account, titled "The Officer Ty Lenehan Memorial Fund", is operated through the California Association of Highway Patrolmen Credit Union (CAHP) and is the only account accepting donations in this case, the Elk Grove Police Department says.
Those interested in donating to the fund can do so on the CAHP Credit Union website.
The man who hit and killed Officer Lenehan — identified as Jermaine Walton — was arrested by the CHP and has been booked into the Sacramento County Jail with no bail on charges of murder, causing an accident resulting in injury, freeway wrong way driving and DUI causing injury.
The suspect is expected to appear in court Tuesday.