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Officer injured during 2002 pursuit dies

Officer injured during 2002 pursuit dies

Modesto Police Sgt. Steve May


POSTED July 24, 2009 10:26 p.m.
A Modesto police officer critically injured in a collision seven years ago, died Thursday.
Sgt. Steve May, 53, never regained consciousness following the 2002 accident. He died as a result of medical complications, said Modesto Police Sgt. Brian Findlen.
In the early hours of July, 29, 2002, May was on patrol looking for a suspect in a stolen black GMC truck wanted for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
As May approached the intersection at South Santa Cruz Avenue and Mono Drive, he was broadsided by the truck, driven by the 18-year-old suspect, Joshua Scott Corralejo.
The pursuit for Corralejo had reached speeds of 60 to 65 mph as Corralejo blew through several stop signs in the airport district neighborhood, Findlen said.
The impact of the collision sent May’s patrol car crashing into a tree, pinning him inside. For 40 minutes emergency responders worked feverishly to extricate May, Findlen said.
May suffered multiple critical injuries, including a fractured skull, numerous broken bones, and internal bleeding.
After the collision, Corralejo lost control of the GMC and crashed into a house. Corralejo was ejected from the vehicle and died under a pile of rubble from the partially collapsed home, Findlen said.
May, a 24-year police veteran, never came out of the coma and was eventually transferred to a Modesto rehabilitation hospital.
“Sgt. May’s loving wife, Diana May, has been by her husband’s side every day since the tragic crash,” Findlen wrote in a statement from the police department. “The support of the community in days, months, and years after the collision has been tremendous.”
“Steve was a great friend, a great police officer and a great leader,” said Interim Modesto Police Chief Michael Harden. “More importantly, Steve was a great husband and father. The department is deeply saddened with Steve’s passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to Diana, their children, Steve’s parents, sister and Steve’s extended family during this very difficult time.”
May will be honored at a full police funeral at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church, 1326 12th St., in downtown Modesto. A police procession, including law enforcement officers from around the state, will accompany May to his final resting place at the Lakewood Memorial Park Cemetery at 900 Santa Fe Ave., in Hughson. Graveside internment is scheduled to begin at about 12 p.m. Both services are open to the public.
Cards of condolence may be sent to the family c/o the Modesto Police Department, 600 10th Street, Modesto, CA  95354.  Donations may be made to the Peace Officer Memorial Group of Stanislaus County, P.O. Box 577105, Modesto, CA  95357.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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