ODNR officer dies in rescue attempt; 16-year-old also dead after falling through ice


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Jason Lagore, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer, has died Wednesday morning from a medical emergency after an attempted lake rescue at a Highland County state park Tuesday night.

“Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of Officer Jason Lagore, who died in the line of duty last night,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz. “Our law enforcement officers and their families carry a unique and challenging burden of responsibilities, and we are deeply grateful for their service.”

Officer Lagore was responding to a call at Rocky Fork State Park in Highland County just before 6:30 p.m., according to an ODNR statement. The call involved two teenagers who had fallen through the ice near the North Shore boat docks.

Officer Lagore suffered a medical emergency during the rescue attempt and was transported to a local hospital in Hillsboro, OH, where he died.

Officials say a 13-year-old male fell through the ice but was able to get out of the water. The second victim, a 16-year-old female, was pronounced dead after her body was recovered by a dive team. ODNR has opened an investigation into the incident.

“Officer Lagore was a dedicated officer, having served 15 years with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,” the release read. “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.”

Officer Lagore leaves behind is wife Michelle, his two young sons, and his K-9 partner, Sarge.