Ventura County – Nobody likes getting pulled over on the freeway and being ticketed by the cops. And everybody understands that once the man or woman in uniform starts writing, the best thing to do is shut up, take the ticket with a smile, and be very careful pulling back into traffic lanes.
That is undoubtedly what happened an hour past midnight on October 28th on the northbound shoulder of U.S. 101 near Lewis Road in the city of Camarillo when Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko issued a routine speeding ticket with the help of another deputy on the scene. According to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean “two backup deputies returned to their car and were sitting inside their patrol car while the initial deputy sheriff was returning to his car”, the entire scene illuminated by the vehicle’s bright headlights and flashing emergency lights.
What happened next was a deadly exception to anything routine, as a moment later “a vehicle came by at a high rate of speed, struck Deputy Kostiuchenko, killed him, and sideswiped his car.” With Kostiuchenko—a 41-year old father of two—now dead, the driver of the impacting vehicle failed to slow and sped off into the night.
Two miles north, at the Las Posas Road offramp, the suspect vehicle ran off the road, crashed, and came to a halt. The driver, Kevin Hogrefe, a 25-year old Camarillo resident, suffered minor injuries and was summarily arrested at the scene and booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of felony DUI, hit-and-run, and gross vehicular manslaughter, with his bail set at $500,000.
The Ventura County District Attorney’s office reports that Hogrefe may be facing charges with penalties of 19 years to life in state prison.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Sheriff, Ventura County Jail Booking
Ventura County Star: Sheriff’s deputy killed in Camarillo