A sheriff’s deputy is being treated for lung exposure to a toxic chemical mixture made by a man threatening suicide this morning, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Around 5:45 a.m., the sheriff’s office got a call from a man saying he was going to cook up a fatal chemical mixture to kill himself, sheriff’s officials said. The man wouldn’t tell dispatchers where he was, but deputies were able to identify him as 47-year-old Jeffery Vandedrink, of Santa Rosa, according to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s officials said the California Highway Patrol received a call about 30 minutes later from a man saying he was on Faught Road in Santa Rosa and was going to commit suicide. Around 7:10 a.m., a deputy found Vandedrink in his car on Faught Road near East Shiloh Road in Windsor. Two deputies approached the car and found Vandedrink sitting in the driver’s seat with the driver’s side window partially down, according to the sheriff’s office.
Not smelling any chemical odors, the deputies approached the car and awoke Vandedrink, then removed him from the vehicle and handcuffed him, sheriff’s officials said. As the deputies took him to a patrol car, they were exposed to a colorless, toxic vapor cloud that was the product of the mixture of various chemicals, according to the sheriff’s office. One of the deputies suffered serious lung exposure to the mixture and was taken to a hospital.
His recovery is expected to take several weeks, sheriff’s officials said. The second deputy and Vandedrink were only minimally exposed to the chemicals. Vandedrink, who was also hospitalized, is expected to be arrested on suspicion of placing an injurious, nauseous or offensive substance in public causing injury, according to the sheriff’s office.