Sheriff Robert Doyle of the Marin County Sheriff’s Department in California sadly reports the death of Deputy Sheriff Ryan Zirkle.

Deputy Zirkle, 24, died as a result of injuries he sustained in a single vehicle crash. Zirkle was responding to a 911 hang up call with unknown trouble.

Zirkle was driving his patrol vehicle on wet roads and lost control of his car as he entered a curve in the road. The vehicle spun out of control, left the roadway and struck a tree on the driver’s side door. County firefighters responded and arrived soon after with several deputy sheriffs, Doyle said. It took 35 minutes to get Zirkle out of the car.

As a result, he sustained critical injuries in the crash.

Consequently, Zirkle was flown via medical helicopter to Petaluma Valley Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a short time after his arrival.

The collision is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.

According to Sheriff Doyle, Deputy Zirkle grew up in Novato and wanted to serve the community he grew up in.

The Sheriff said, “This is a tough time for all of us. We’re grieving.”

Zirkle was a 2011 graduate of San Marin High School in Novato, where he was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball.

He was captain of the basketball team and most valuable player on the baseball team in his senior year. The school’s basketball and baseball teams won league titles that year.

“He had an incredible run in athletics in high school,” said Mark Whitburn, Zirkle’s baseball coach at San Marin. “How many kids get to be the starting quarterback for their football team, the point guard for their basketball team and the shortstop for baseball?”

“He had an infectious smile. The team just gravitated toward him,” Whitburn said. “He made everybody better and he made the world just a better place to be in.”

Kevin Goyer was San Marin’s varsity football coach when Zirkle was a sophomore.

“We pulled him up from the junior varsity to the varsity his sophomore year when we were encountering some injuries and he led us to a victory,” Goyer said. “He was a phenomenal young man, a hard worker and conscientious. He got along with everybody.”

Dan Hickey, who was Zirkle’s football coach his junior and senior years, said, “We didn’t win a championship but we did beat Novato for the first time in nine years his senior year. He worked 110 percent in every sport he did.”

Kevin Conklin, the operations manager for the city of Novato’s recreation department, said, “I’ve known Ryan since he was a little kid. He was in our gymnastics program as a boy. He was one of the great guys of all time. This is a terrible tragedy.”

Chris Glennon, a lifelong friend and teammate of Zirkle’s on the championship basketball team, said, “Meeting him in kindergarten and growing up a block away from him is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.”

“I’m an only child, but he’ll always be the closest thing I have to a brother,” Glennon said. “I would have been lost without him growing up. He’s been my best friend for 20 years, and it’s just not fair this happened to him.”

Ryan Zirkle served the Marin County Sheriff’s Department for 2 ½ years.

He is survived by his fiancé, parents and siblings.

Deputy Sheriff Ryan Zirkle is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Ryan Zirkle

(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)