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Ventura County Search And Rescue Team Member Who Died In The Line Of Duty Honored

(KCLU photo)
Jefferey "Jef" Dye's family receives a medal of merit Wednesday from the Ventura County Peace Officers Association. Sheriff Bill Ayub (at the podium) makes the presentation

Section Of I-5 Named After Jef Dye

He was a community volunteer in Ventura County who gave his life to help others during a crisis, and now, more than a year and a half later he is being honored for his heroism.

Jeffrey "Jef" Dye was a member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Fillmore Search & Rescue team. In February of 2019, some members of the team were headed to a training mission when they encountered a serious car accident, and stopped to help.


It happened during a storm on Interstate 5, near Gorman. As the team was helping the accident victims, another car plowed into the crew. Dye was fatally injured, and two other team members were seriously injured.

At a ceremony in Fillmore, Dye’s family was presented with a medal of merit from the County Peace Officers Association. And, part of I-5 near Gorman has been dedicated in his honor.

Efforts to honor Dye were delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Captain Bill Ayub says many people don’t realize that the county’s search and rescue teams, like the one based in Fillmore, are made up of volunteers.

It was an emotional event, with about 150 people gathered to remember Dye. His wife Sandy says he would have appreciated the event.

Despite what happened, she says her husband loved being a part of the search and rescue team. The family decided to honor his memory by helping others. The family and friends created the Dye Scholarship Foundation, which is awarding scholarships to students pursuing vocational careers.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.