Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ventura County Firefighter Killed in Rollover Crash of OES-WT-12 Water Truck While Headed to the Canyon Fire

Ventura County Firefighter Killed in Rollover Crash While Headed to the Canyon Fire
Posted 10:11 AM, September 21, 2016, by Tracy Bloom and Steve Kuzj, Updated at 06:35pm, September 21, 2016

A 38-year-old Ventura County firefighter was killed Wednesday morning in a rollover crash while driving to the 12,300-acre Canyon Fire on the Central Coast, authorities said.  

The water tender had designations indicating that it was a California Office of Emergency Services apparatus. OES vehicles are often farmed out to local fire departments, such as Ventura County FD.

Unfortunately rollovers of fire vehicles, especially water tenders, happen far too often.  The sloshing water makes the truck very unstable to drive and make even the slightest turns.  It can probably accommodate a g force of 0.2 or less.

A Ventura County firefighter was killed in a rollover crash in Lompoc on Sept. 21, 2016. (Credit: KEYT)

Two firefighters assigned to the massive blaze were in a water-tender truck when it crashed around 6:20 a.m. on Highway 246 at Purisima Road in the Lompoc area, according to a Ventura County Fire Department news release.

The passenger became trapped in the vehicle after it rolled over multiple times and died, local authorities told Santa Barbara-area television station KEYT reported.

The driver survived, sustaining minor injuries.

The Fire Department identified the deceased firefighter as Fire Engineer Ryan Osler. He was stationed at Fire Station 42 in Moorpark, and had worked for the department for the past 18 years, according to the release.

Fire Engineer Ryan Osler is seen in a photo released by the Ventura County Fire Department.

Osler began his career as a member of the Ventura County Fire Handcrew. He was hired as a trainee firefighter in 2006, and was promoted to the rank of fire engineer six years later.

“Our collective hearts are broken at the loss of our friend and brother Ryan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said in the release. “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.”

Osler was from Santa Clarita and is survived by his wife and two children, according to a statement from Gov. Jerry Brown, who said the death saddened him.

"This tragedy reminds us of the dangers firefighters face every day," Brown said.

An investigation is underway to determine what caused the fatal solo-vehicle crash.

Osler was headed up to Vandenberg Air Force Base to help with fight the Canyon Fire. The blaze erupted on the base Saturday and had grown to 12,353 acres as of Wednesday morning.

More than 1,000 fire personnel have been deployed to battle the blaze, which is 50 percent contained, according to the federal InciWeb page for the incident. Full containment is expected Friday.

Following Osler's death, flags were ordered to half-staff, according to the Fire Department. Mourning bands would also be worn for an undetermined amount of time.

Funeral arrangements have not been set yet.


Ventura County firefighter killed in fatal crash identified
Passenger killed after truck rolls over and crashes in Lompoc

Joe Buttitta, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Anchor/Reporter,
POSTED: 07:25 AM PDT Sep 21, 2016 UPDATED: 06:08 PM PDT Sep 21, 2016

Ventura County Firefighter Killed in Hwy 246 Crash
LOMPOC, Calif. -

Authorities say a Ventura County firefighter has died after the truck he was in rolled over multiple times Wednesday morning.

Ventura County Fire Chief Mike Lindbery announced the tragic loss of Fire Engineer Ryan Osler in line of duty vehicle.

The accident happened at about 6:20 a.m. on state Route 246 at Purisima Road in Lompoc.

"We are trying to determine how the fire truck actually ran into the roundabout at Purisima," says Srgt. Dan Clotworthy, with the California Highway Patrol.

Officials on the scene of the accident say two firefighters were in the Ventura County water tender truck when it crashed. They were headed to help fight the Canyon Fire at Vandeberg.

"It's from what we understand it's loaded with about 2000 gallons of water and they use that for fire suppression and putting out spot fires," says Srgt. Clotworthy.

The passenger was pronounced dead on scene. The driver self-extricated from the wreck and was taken to Lompoc Valley Medical Center with minor to moderate injuries, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

The California Highway Patrol says the deceased firefighter was trapped inside when the vehicle crashed.

Officials are calling the accident tragic.

"We are extremely saddened at the loss of a firefighter, one of our brothers in uniform in route to help others and it's the sadness of what we do as emergency responders," says Srgt. Clothwothy.

The CHP is investigating the cause of the crash.   These trucks are easy to rollover due to the sloshing water.  RIP.

Here are some photos of the OES-WT-12 truck prior to the rollover crash.