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Driver arrested after Sutter deputy killed in DUI crash
Rory Roguski was a promising young Sutter County sheriff's deputy known for his big heart, goofy sense of humor and dedicated work ethic.
The off-duty deputy was killed late Wednesday when the car he was riding in slammed into a rock wall on a narrow highway in the Yuba County foothills, the California Highway Patrol said.
"This is a horrible tragedy," Sheriff J. Paul Parker said Thursday. "The department is just stunned by it."
The CHP arrested Roguski's girlfriend, Erin Marie Jasper, on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Roguski, a 25-year-old Yuba City resident, was pronounced dead at the scene on Highway 20 near Smartsville, the CHP said in a press release.
Jasper, 26, of Oregon House, the driver, received several head fractures, which the CHP described as "moderate" injuries. She was taken by air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.
An update on her condition was not available. Jasper has not been booked into the Yuba County Jail.
Roguski's friends and family were still too shaken to discuss the tragedy.
A joint statement issued on their behalf read, in part: "His laughter, big smile and goofiness will be sorely missed. We are grateful for all the good times we shared and will miss you deeply."
Roguski was hired as a reserve deputy in December 2009 and was sworn in as a full deputy sheriff on July 14. He was nearing completion of the department's field-training program, Undersheriff Jeff Pierce said.
A Sutter High School graduate, Roguski was an honor roll student and a top marksman on the school's air rifle team, according to Appeal-Democrat archives.
The crash happened at about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday.
Jasper was highly intoxicated while driving a 1999 Ford Mustang west on Highway 20 near McGanney Lane around 55 mph, according to the CHP. Blood-alcohol levels were not available.
Jasper let her car drift too far to the right as she approached a left hand curve in the roadway, the CHP said.
Tires left the pavement and the driver steered back to the left abruptly, causing her to lose control. The car skidded across both traffic lanes and collided head-on into a rock wall on the south side of the road.
The car spun around to the right and the rear of the vehicle struck the rock and slid back across both lanes, coming to rest on the north side of the road on the westbound shoulder, the CHP said.
Neither person was wearing a seat belt.
"It's still under investigation, and it could be quite a lengthy investigation," said CHP Officer Jodie Beck.
Toxicology tests will determine if Roguski also had been drinking, the Yuba County Coroner's Office said.
Lt. Damon Gil said test results could take several weeks for the state Department of Justice to process.
Pierce described Roguski as a "likable, respectful, and well-liked" deputy whose law enforcement career ambitions were just starting to come into focus.
"He had a very promising career and everything to live for and was going the right way," Pierce said. "It's a terrible tragedy."