Police officer killed at Oceano Dunes

June 18, 2016


Rodney Jones

Rodney Jones

A Sanger Police Department officer was killed in an off-roading accident at the Oceano Dunes on Friday morning.

Shortly after 3 a.m., officer Rodney Jones was traveling in a dune buggy type vehicle at a high rate of speed when he drove over a steep drop and went airborne. State Park rangers discovered the vehicle overturned and Jones suffering from serious injuries.

Medics performed CPR, but Jones was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger was uninjured in the accident.

Rangers do not suspect drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. An investigation is ongoing.

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Man, I hate to be skeptical, but who goes racing around at high speed at 3am mostly in the dark? Dune buggy lights aren’t all that great and if you are going fast, no way you are going to anticipate one of those drops – especially if you aren’t all that familiar with the place.

No disrespect intended, 1smartdude, but you’re talking out of your ass.

It is most assuredly not suspicious that LE would mention that alcohol/drugs did not appear to be a factor at this time.

First, they do so to quell minds such as your own that struggle to put a sense of responsibility on these tragedies, and may make basesless inferences of suspicious circumstances.

Second, they do not wish to defame the dead before investigation has concluded for reasons of civil liability and to convey an essentially accurate public perception.

It very likely went down something like this:

Officers responded, gleaned necessary facts from the scene and began to interview bystanders and involved parties. They probably encountered a dearth of witnesses outside the decedents own camping group because it was 3am. The decedent’s campmates probably reported that he wasn’t impaired, whether they knew so or not, given the fact of his profession and recent demise.

So…in the absence of any contradictory information, impairment does not appear to be a factor at this time. This is not a final analysis, but a report of status, and it it only necessary to respond in advance to the shoo-flies, such as yourself, who see suspicious activity behind everything they fail to understand.

I lost a family friend at Glamis in a dune buggy accident… Not a pretty sight at all. Was there alcohol involved? You betcha! At Glamis what’s the only thing people consume more than alcohol? Sand! The times I’ve been at Oceano it didn’t appear to be any different there; a lot of alcohol induced stunts and “buggying” moves that you probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Fortunately, most survive…

Remember this story from nearly two years ago re: the missing Arcadia firefighter –


In reading about the demise of Rodney Jones, immediately Mike Herdman came to mind. As I recall, his wife and young daughter were expecting Mike home for Father’s day in 2014. He didn’t make it. People were pretty shocked at the toxicology results. Sad and bizarre.

The dude was driving a dune buggy at a high rate of speed at three o’clock in the morning and there is no suspicion of drugs or alcohol? What are those rangers smoking?

A very tragic loss. Condolences to the family and friends.


The story reads “Shortly after 3 a.m., officer Rodney Jones was traveling in a dune buggy type vehicle at a high rate of speed when he drove over a steep drop and went airborne.”

The statement “Rangers do not suspect drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash” is suspicious. The autopsy and toxicology tests can’t have been completed yet.

I hope that the autopsy includes a full toxicology panel, including testing for steroids and other illegal drugs, with the results published in a follow up article. This is normal for members of the general public. Results are always publicized, good or bad. We will see if the the thin blue line keeps the facts from being made public.

Why was this individual out at 3:00am, racing around the dunes at high speed, with a passenger? Were the restraint systems in the ROV fastened correctly? According to another news report (the Fibune) the passenger was uninjured. Running off a slipface at high speed should have injured both occupants.

For those wondering what an “ROV” is, here is a link.


At times, Mother Nature can be so unforgiving.


3am and high speed the wrong direction in the dunes? Huh?

I hope alcohol wasn’t a factor, but…

How tragic. The Lord God bless his family and friends. Lord, please comfort them and strengthen all.