LOMPOC (CBSLA.com) — A Ventura County firefighter on his way to help battle the blaze threatening Vandenberg Air Force Base died Wednesday morning after the water truck he was in crashed.
Fire Engineer Ryan Osler was a passenger in a fire water tender truck that rolled over near a roundabout on Highway 246 near Purisima Road, according to a California Highway Patrol collision report.
Osler was trapped inside when the vehicle crash, the report said.
A second firefighter was hospitalized in serious condition, according to Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Steve Swindle. They were the only two occupants in the truck.
The truck was en route to help fight the Canyon Fire on Vandenberg Air Force Base.
“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 a statement.
Osler, an 18-year veteran of the department, was in his 30s and a second-generation firefighter, Swindle said. He is survived by his wife and two children.
The department’s flags were ordered to half-staff and the department will don mourning bands in Olsen’s memory, Lorenzen said. Funeral arrangements are pending.
A procession of Ventura County Fire Department trucks led the way to a funeral procession later Wednesday afternoon.
He was remembered by colleagues as a talented firefighter and devoted family man.
“He was a very good firefighter,” said Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Ron Oatman. “[But] he had that balance of saying, ‘You know what. It’s time to go home and spend time with my family.”
Osler’s late father was also a Ventura County firefighter.
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