Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ventura County firefighter dies after water tender truck rolls over while working on Canyon Fire

Ventura County Fire Engineer Ryan Osler is shown in a photo alongside images from the scene where a truck overturned, killing him on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. (Ventura County Fire Department / KEYT)

By staff
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 12:19PM
LOMPOC, Calif. (KABC) -- A Ventura County firefighter died in the line of duty while working on the Canyon Fire near Lompoc Wednesday morning.

Authorities said around 6:20 a.m., a water tender truck was traveling westbound on State Route 246, approaching a roundabout on Purisima Road. The driver ended up hitting a curb on the roundabout, causing the truck to rollover. The driver was taken to a hospital for minor injuries.

The fire engineer, identified as Ryan Osler, was the passenger in the truck and sustained fatal injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP officers with the Buellton Station are investigating the crash.

Osler had been with the fire department for 18 years, beginning his career in 1998 as a member of the Ventura County handcrew. After serving for six years as a hired trainee firefighter, Osler was promoted to fire engineer at Fire Station 42 in Moorpark.

"Our collective hearts are broken at the loss of our friend and brother Ryan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," VCFD Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said. "We are deeply moved by the outpouring of public support for Ryan and on behalf of all the men and women of the Ventura County Fire Department, we thank you for your continued prayers."

Flags were ordered at half-staff after news of Osler's death, and mourning bands will be worn on firefighter badges. Osler is survived by his wife and two children.

The two firefighters were providing help in the Canyon Fire, which erupted in a remote canyon near the Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday. The wildfire has grown to more than 12,000 acres, or 19 square miles, and is 45 percent contained.

More than 1,000 firefighters are battling the blaze. Voluntary evacuations were also ordered for about 400 residents in San Miguelito Canyon.

Numerous rollover accidents happen this way.  The water trucks are unstable due to the sloshing water;  if the driver is going too fast for the conditions or curve, then the tanker will rollover.  It only takes a 0.2 g.