HIGHLAND CO. — A 16-year-old girl who fell through the ice at Rocky Fork Lake is dead, and an Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer who responded suffered a fatal medical event.
At approximately 6:26 p.m. Tuesday, the Paint Creek Joint EMS & Fire District in the Highland County Rainsboro station was dispatched to the area of South Lakeshore Drive for two subjects that had fallen through the ice and were in immediate peril.
The male, age 13, was able to self-rescue from the ice and water; he was transported by ground to Highland District Hospital with hypothermia present, according to a news release Wednesday morning from the Paint Creek EMS & Fire District.
Divers from Task Force 1 from Hamilton County and Franklin County Sheriff’s office were requested to the scene as the female could not be located.
At approximately 10:47 p.m., the divers located a point of interest on their sonar equipment and divers entered the 36-degree water at 10:53 p.m. The girl’s body was removed from the water at 11 p.m. Her name has not yet been released.
She was transported to Highland District Hospital with life-saving treatment being administered. She had been under the ice too long and was unable to be resuscitated, and was pronounced dead.
During the initial phases of this rescue, an officer with Ohio Division of Natural Resources suffered a medical emergency at the scene and was transferred to HDH with life-saving treatment being administered.
It is with heavy hearts that we report that he also was unable to be resuscitated, Paint Creek Joint EMS & Fire reported.
The officer who died while working the scene, Jason Lagore, was a 15-year veteran of the ODNR, the agency stated. He was based at Caesar Creek Lake State Park in Warren County and resided in Clinton County.
The ODNR website stated: “Officer Lagore was a dedicated officer, having served 15 years with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. He was responsible for the first ODNR K-9 academy, led the Division of Parks and Watercraft K-9 training program, and was well respected across the state for his expertise working with K-9s.
“When he wasn’t proudly serving ODNR, Officer Lagore enjoyed deer and turkey hunting, loved history, and enjoyed vacations with his family.”
The ODNR stated that Lagore is survived by his wife Michelle, his two young sons, and his K-9 partner, Sarge.
Paint Creek Joint EMS & Fire District stated “This was a concerted effort with no less than 10 different agencies assisting on scene.
“We would like to thank Lynchburg Area Joint Fire & Ambulance, Highland County Emergency Management, Highland County Sheriff’s office, Highland County Coroner’s Office, Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Task Force 1 dive team from Hamilton County. the dive team from Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Eastern Joint Fire District, Fayetteville Fire Department and Box 21 for all their assistance.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the drowning victim and to our brothers and sisters in blue for the loss of their officer in the line of duty.”
Clinton Co. incident
The Rocky Fork incident comes just over two months after ODNR Division of Wildlife officer Kevin Behr was struck and wounded in Clinton County Dec. 20 when Brian R. Liming, 43, of Jamestown allegedly discharged a firearm while reportedly going after a deer in the woods.
Behr was investigating a deer poaching complaint at the time
At last report, Behr had been hospitalized after undergoing several surgeries.
Liming faces charges of alleged assault (felony 4), hunting without a license (misdemeanor 3), hunting permit violation (misdemeanor 3), and having weapons under disability (felony 3) in connection to a shooting involving a wildlife officer in December. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 12 in Clinton County Common Pleas Court.
Liming along with Bryan Achtermann, 36, of Midland, and Thomas Davis, 35, of Jamestown, were allegedly engaged in deer poaching.
Achtermann pled not guilty to charges of no hunting license and no deer permit. Davis pled not guilty to the one charge of unlawfully aiding an offender [allegedly Liming] in prohibited activities, to wit, hunting unlawfully on land without permission from the landowner.