Motorist arrested on suspicion of murder and DUI after crash kills off-duty Modesto police officer


A 32-year-old Modesto man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and drunken driving following a crash that claimed the life of an off-duty Modesto police officer Tuesday night, according to authorities.

Matthew Gibbs was driving a Volkswagen when he struck the rear of the off-duty officer’s bicycle near Fine and Merle avenues on Tuesday night, according to a statement issued by the California Highway Patrol.

The officer was thrown from the bike and died at the scene, the CHP said. Gibbs’ vehicle veered toward a curb and struck a fire hydrant after the collision.


Gibbs was arrested and is being held on suspicion of murder and drunken driving charges, according to Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department records.

In a video posted to the department’s Twitter account, Police Chief Galen Carroll described the officer’s death as “a huge loss for his family and the Modesto Police Department family, as well as our community.”

Carroll did not identify the officer. The CHP described the victim only as a 38-year-old male.

The CHP said “alcohol and/or drugs” played a role in the crash. Gibbs was arrested after he displayed signs of impairment at the scene, according to the CHP’s statement.


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