Sonoma County deputy who crashed into Bodega Bay home identified

The deputy, who has been with the department for about a year, faces months of recovery from the Oct. 14 crash.|

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy who lost control of his car during a high-speed chase and crashed into a Bodega Bay house earlier this month was identified Monday as 35-year-old Matt Carlson.

Carlson, who has worked for the department for about a year, will receive workers compensation while he recovers from the crash, a process expected to take three to nine months, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum said. He was released from the hospital two days after the Oct. 14 incident.

The sheriff’s office declined to describe the nature of Carlson’s injuries, citing patient privacy laws. Carlson worked as a deputy for the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for about 1½ years before moving to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Crum said.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office will review the incident to determine if Carlson followed department policy regarding high-speed vehicle pursuits. The CHP will investigate the cause of the wreck.

On the morning of the crash, Carlson and two other deputies were in Bodega Bay following prior reports of stolen generators at the Doran Beach campground. One deputy sat in an unmarked patrol car inside the campground, while Carlson and a second deputy waited near the exit in marked vehicles.

Carlson attempted to stop the driver of a Honda Pilot seen entering and quickly exiting the campground at about 5 a.m., suspecting he had committed a theft, and followed the car onto northbound Highway 1. The Honda did not stop for Carlson, and then less than a minute into the high-speed pursuit, Carlson’s Ford Explorer lost traction on a curve on the road.

The vehicle crossed over the southbound lane into the corner of a home at the 600 block of Highway 1. Carlson was able to free himself from the car and flag down a second deputy, who helped three uninjured occupants out of the home as it caught fire.

Santa Rosa resident Ryan Moore, 35, was arrested in connection with the chase later that morning, booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of several crimes, including reckless evading causing great bodily injury, resisting a peace officer causing serious bodily injury and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Moore is expected to appear at the Sonoma County Superior Courthouse this morning.

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or On Twitter?@nashellytweets.

Nashelly Chavez

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, The Press Democrat 

Who calls the North Bay home and how do their backgrounds, socioeconomic status and other factors shape their experiences? What cultures, traditions and religions are celebrated where we live? These are the questions that drive me as I cover diversity, equity and inclusion in Sonoma County and beyond.   


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