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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday July 14th, 2021 :: 09:10 a.m. PDT


Jef Dye Dedication

Nature of Incident: Search and Rescue Team Member Jeffrey “Jef” Dye I-5 Freeway Memorial Sign Dedication Ceremony
Location: City of Fillmore, City Hall, 250 Central Avenue Fillmore CA 93015
Date & Time: Wednesday July 14, 2021, 10:00 AM
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Aviation Search & Rescue, Sheriff’s Administration, Fillmore Police Department, Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services
Sheriff Ayub and members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Teams honored the memory of Jeffrey “Jef” Dye Wednesday morning by dedicating a memorial sign on the Interstate 5 Freeway in his honor.
On February 2, 2019, members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Fillmore Search & Rescue Team were on the I-5 freeway near Gorman responding to a serious vehicle accident. Team members were actively involved in a rescue operation involving people trapped in an overturned vehicle. The weather conditions at the time included heavy rain, cold temperatures, and poor visibility. This was a very difficult and dangerous crash scene. Jef did not hesitate when putting himself in harm’s way to provide emergency medical assistance to a family in distress and in need of immediate medical attention. During the rescue, a vehicle traveling northbound on the I-5 freeway lost control, went over an embankment, and careened into the accident scene where Fillmore Search & Rescue team members were actively working along with members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The vehicle struck three of the SAR team members, two of whom were critically injured. Tragically, Jef Dye was killed.
Jef served as a member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Fillmore Search and Rescue Team for about three years. Jef was highly skilled in areas of wilderness first aid, tracking, high-angle rock rescue, swift water rescue, and alpine snow rescue. Members of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team volunteer their time and skills to the residents of Ventura County, and are considered one of our most highly trained and valuable resources for backcountry search and rescue operations. Jef is the first Ventura County Sheriff Search & Rescue Team member to have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty while serving his community.

California State Assemblyman Tom Lackey (AD-36) authored resolution ACR- 147 designating a portion of the I-5 Freeway near Gorman, CA, in Jef’s honor. This resolution was co-authored by Assembly Members Jacqui Irwin and Christy Smith, as well as State Senators Hanna-Beth Jackson, Henry Stern, and Scott Wilk. The Jef Dye memorial signs are located in the area south of Pyramid Lake on both the north and southbound sides of the freeway.

Among the search and rescue community there is a creed they stand by that exemplifies why they do what they do. It is, “So that others may live.”  Jef died doing what he had a passion for, serving his community so that others may live.
Prepared by: Sgt. Kevin Donoghue #2735  
News Release Date: July 14, 2021  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sgt. Tim Lohman (805)947-8255
[email protected]
Captain Eric Buschow (805)947-8129
[email protected]
Approved by:
Captain Eric Buschow

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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