End of Watch: 09/13/2001
Agency: Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office
County: Whatcom County
On Wednesday, September 12, 2001, Deputy Matt Herzog of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office was training Deputy James Triplett when they were involved in a collision during a pursuit of a prowl suspect, Adrian Sassen Van Elsloo.
Sassen Van Elsloo was driving a Ford Mustang when he passed the deputies at a high rate of speed. Deputy Triplett turned around and began pursuing the Mustang when the patrol car left the roadway and struck a tree on the passenger side in about the 500 block of Samish Way in Bellingham.
Deputy Herzog and Deputy Triplett were both transported to the hospital. Deputy Herzog died of massive head injuries on September 13, 2001.
Sassen Van Elsloo was arrested the next day. He was eventually convicted of eluding and hit and run, sentenced to four years, with credit for time served and released. He continues to lead a criminal life, with continual contacts with police in the greater Whatcom County, including vehicle theft and as the driver in subsequent pursuits with police.
Deputy Herzog served Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for five years, and is survived by his wife, parents and sister.