A member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department search and rescue team was killed Saturday when a driver on the Golden State (5) Freeway near the Los Angeles/Kern County line lost control of his car moments after another accident and crashed into the scene, seriously injuring at least three other team members, authorities said.

The crash occurred about 8:06 a.m. on the northbound freeway near the Vista Del Lago exit at Pyramid Lake, the California Highway Patrol reported.

First responders from Ventura County were assisting people from an earlier rollover crash when the second, fatal crash occurred, according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department public information officer.

The victim was identified as 50-year-old Jeff Dye of Thousand Oaks, the Ventura County Star reported.

One of the injured the Ventura County SAR team was helping was 63-year-old Rito Ruiz of Canoga Park, who was driving a Missan Murano and was involved in a single-vehicle crash, according to the CHP. Ruiz suffered major injuries and was rushed to Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital in Newhall.

Dye was pronounced dead at the scene, and at least nine people were taken to area hospitals.

Three of the SAR teams members at the crash suffered serious injuries, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.

The accidents occurred amid heavy rainfall that made driving conditions dangerous throughout the Southland.

“Tragedy today – a member of our Fillmore SAR Team was killed and three other team members injured in a traffic collision on I-5,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department tweeted. “They were on their way to Mt. Pinos for a training mission.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tweeted the following: “The LA County Sheriff’s Department stands by our @venturasheriff partners in mourning, as a member of their Search and Rescue team has been killed in a traffic accident. Please keep the community, as well as the 2 injured team members, in your thoughts. #weseeyou”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva tweeted: “An unexpected loss is always difficult. Especially when it affects our law enforcement family. Volunteers in law enforcement agencies play an important roll in public safety and the communities we serve. @VENTURASHERIFF Please accept my heartfelt sympathy as we mourn with you.”

The CHP declared a Sigalert for the number 1 and 2 lanes on the northbound 5 Freeway, just south of Vista Del Lago, at 7:30 a.m. The SigAlert was expected to remain in effect until at least 4 p.m.

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