Deputy Joseph M. Kievernagel was killed on July 13, 2005, while piloting the Sheriff’s Department’s Helicopter, Star 6. Deputy Joe Kievernagel, Deputy Kevin Blount and Deputy Eric Henrikson took off from Mather Air Field for routine patrol of Sacramento County. They soon responded to a burglary call at a Folsom business. After they cleared the call they flew over the Lake Natoma area where hundreds of people had gathered to get relief from the intense heat being experienced in the Sacramento area. What happened next will remain in the hearts and minds of the Sheriff’s Department personnel forever. Star 6 developed catastrophic engine trouble. Witnesses reported that it seemed that Deputy Kievernagel tried in vain to control the craft, Deputy Kievernagel desperately tried to land the ship somewhere away from the crowded lake area. Star 6 crashed into a nearby hillside and rolled. Deputies Kievernagel and Blount were killed. Deputy Eric Henrikson was critically injured. Both officers were highly regarded professionals and truly dedicated to their assignments in Air Operations. They cannot be replaced. They can only be remembered and remember we will.
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