SALEM, Ore. - Salem police say a Polk County, Oregon, sheriff's sergeant has died in a traffic crash on state Highway 22.

Salem officers responding to a single vehicle crash Friday afternoon found the victim was 48-year-old Randy W. Whittaker of Dallas, Oregon.

Police say Whittaker was eastbound in the right lane when another vehicle passed. They say he moved into the left lane, lost control of his vehicle and struck the large cement barriers running along the side of the highway.

A dog that ran from the vehicle after the crash was found and was being returned to the family.

Sheriff Bob Wolfe said Whittaker was a well-respected sergeant at the jail.

This tragic loss of Sgt. Randy Whittaker will have a huge impact on our operations, Wolfe said. Sgt. Whittaker was respected and admired by all of us, including the inmates in our jail. Sgt. Whittaker has touched many lives in his 15 years with Polk County and served everyday with Pride, Integrity and most of all Compassion for the job he did everyday for the citizens of Polk County.

He had been with the sheriff's office for 15 years.

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