GOLETA, Calif. - Firefighters and members of the public paused this afternoon to remember Ventura County Fire engineer Ryan Osler. He died in a rollover water tender accident near Lompoc en route to the Canyon Fire.
Osler was a passenger. The driver survived. The cause of the accident is under investigation. It occurred on State Route 246 at Purisima Rd. where the highway has a roundabout.
The California Highway Patrol was notified about 6:25 a.m. and sent several units to the scene where the rig loaded with water was on its side.
Vandenberg Air Force Base nearby is where the nearly week old Canyon Fire has been burning and where Osler was headed.
This afternoon, a processional from the Santa Barbara County Coroner's Office began about 2:15. It headed down Highway 101 to Ventura County where Osler's body was delivered under escort. Funeral services have not been announced.
Along the way members of numerous fire agencies lined freeway overpasses and bridges with their engines. Crews were on top of the rigs and along the rails in silence to remember the life of one of their firefighter family members.
The word was getting out to the public mainly through social media. Some people came to pay their respects and with that, they also had U.S. flags.
"It is very devastating. It hits hard," said Becky Villarreal who is married to a firefighter locally. "I'm shaking inside. I am just heartbroken for his family, for Ventura County and for the firefighter family."
"We all need to come as one to support these guys these men and women that are just putting their lives in danger, " said resident Clara Sarabia. "It is so devastating. So we need to be here to support them."