ODNR officer died in line of duty

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An ODNR officer and K-9 stand in front of a car.
(ODNR photo)

Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer Jason Lagore died in the line of duty Feb. 23, trying to rescue two teens who fell through ice. 

Lagore died while responding to a call at Rocky Fork State Park, in Highland County, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said in a Feb. 24 statement.

The call reported that two people fell through the ice near the North Shore boat docks at the park. Lagore had a medical emergency during the search and was taken to Highland District Hospital, in Hillsboro, where he was pronounced dead. 

One of the people who fell through the ice, a 13-year-old male was able to get out. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition. The other, a 16-year-old female, was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at the hospital.

“Officer Lagore acted with extreme courage to go to the rescue of these two kids; his example demonstrates the very highest valor. My deepest sympathies are with his family, the family of the girl he could not rescue and his colleagues,” said Dave Yost, attorney general for Ohio, in a Feb. 24 statement

Lagore is survived by his wife, Michelle, two sons and his K-9 partner, Sarge. He served 15 years with the department and was responsible for the first department K-9 academy. He also led the Division of Parks and Watercraft K-9 training program, and was respected across the state for his work with K-9s. 

The department is leading the ongoing investigation into the incident and asked that the privacy of Lagore’s family be respected during this time.

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