Police officer dies in off-road accident at Oceano Dunes

Police Officer Rodney Jones
Police Officer Rodney Jones

A 20-year veteran of the Sanger Police Department, east of Fresno, died in a recreational off-road vehicle accident Friday morning at the Oceano Dunes.

State Parks rangers responded to a 911 call at 3:23 a.m. for an incident involving an off-road vehicle, driver and a passenger, Chief Ranger Kevin Pearce said.

The rangers arrived to find an ROV overturned on its roof below a 15-foot dune. Its driver, Rodney Jones, had “significant” injuries, though Pearce declined to give details.

Medics attempted lifesaving measures, but Jones was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger was evaluated and released without injury, Pearce said. The accident and Jones’ cause of death are under investigation.

In a Facebook statement, the Sanger Police Department said Jones was a 20-year veteran of the force.

Fresno County Sheriff’s Lt. Kathy Curtice, who serves as the Search and Rescue commander, said Jones also served on the team as a volunteer.

“Today, the entire SAR team is shocked and saddened to learn the news of this tragic event,” Curtice said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as we ourselves process the loss of our teammate who dedicated so much to helping others.”

The Fresno Bee contributed to this report.