Man who died by suicide on Highway 58 Sunday was Kings County deputy

Local News

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KGET) — A man who died by suicide Sunday on Highway 58 has been identified as a Kings County sheriff’s deputy who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Thomas Olson, 30, is survived by his wife and 5-year-old son, according to a Sheriff’s Office release.

“We are saddened by the outcome of these events and have brought in peer counselors for members of our agency,” the release said. “We are also working with his wife and family to help them get through this tragedy.”

Olson, a six-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, experienced a “mental health crisis” while off duty Sunday, the release said. Sheriff’s officials determined he was in Kern County and tried to get help to him.

The California Highway Patrol and and Kern County Sheriff’s Office located Olson driving his personal vehicle and stopped him to check his welfare.

Olson killed himself immediately after being stopped, the release said.

The deputy spent four years on the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, was peace officer of the year for the American Legion in 2015 and had been awarded a department Silver Star Medal for breaking up a burglary in progress while off duty.

This comes just days before Nation Mental Health Day on Thursday. California’s first mental health hotline is going active Thursday, the state hotline can be reached at 1-855-845-7415. As of now the hotline will only run Mondays through Fridays 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays 7:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. 9 p.m.

You can also contact local hotline number provided by Kern Behavior Health. Those numbers are:

  • Crisis Hotline: 1-800-991-5272
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Substance Use Division Access Line: 1-866-266-4898
  • For NON-Crisis Adult Care: The Access and Assessment Center: 661-868-8080

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