TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — A firefighter was fatally injured Friday after being struck by a car at the scene of a traffic collision on the 10 Freeway, officials said.
Christopher Douglas, 41, worked for Cal Fire as a fire apparatus engineer and paramedic for eight years.
Douglas was responding to a traffic collision on the 10 Freeway near Palm Desert when he was struck by the 60-year-old driver of a passing vehicle.
He was transported to Desert Regional Hospital where he died from his injuries.
“This tragic accident affects the entire Cal Fire family and deeply saddens all of the firefighting community,” said Chief John R. Hawkins of Cal Fire and the Riverside County Fire Department.
At his Temecula home Friday evening, friends and relatives were too distraught to speak on camera, but told CBS2’s Tom Wait that Douglas served in the Air Force and loved to surf.
They also said he Douglas — known to friends as ‘Topher’ — would light up a room with his smile.
On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement expressing condolences upon learning of his death.
“Anne and I were saddened to learn of the death of Engineer Christopher Douglas,” the statement reads. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fellow state firefighters.”
Douglas is survived by his wife, Amy, who is pregnant, and their 2-year-old son.