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Phase 3: 20.854166666667% (10.01)
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Fallen Heroes Details



In Memory Of
Donald DeMeulle
San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department, CA
End of watch: 1986-07-01
Aircraft: Hughes 500D
Deputy Donald J. DeMeulle, 28, was killed when his helicopter hit a power line and dropped onto Lake Silverwood.

Thoughts and Memories of Donald DeMeulle

Don was a great friend; a little irreverent, always funny and a great lover of life. Don was one of our helicopter pilots, but on the day of his death, he was not at a set of controls but was filling the role of the flight officer.

The patrol ship was flying along the shore of Silverwood Lake when they struck a set of wires. You may know the kind, towers the color of rust and hidden in the trees on two hills, wires running across a valley and nearly impossible to see.

The wreckage sank in about 10 feet of water. Despite having a broken neck, the pilot, Steve Nix, tried drastically to pull Don out of the wreckage. Steve repeatedly dove down to the wreckage until, overcome with pain and exhaustion, he was pulled out of the water by boaters that came to help.

Don was under water about 10 minutes before the boaters and State Park Rangers at the lake were able to bring him up. More heroic efforts at resuscitation were made by the citizens, Rangers, and medical crew of our rescue helicopter, but Don was declared dead when he reached the hospital.

Don left behind a beautiful wife and two wonderful children.
Tom Hornsby
2006-03-02

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