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Hero Down: Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Haney Dies In Crash On Way Home From Work

Lake Elsinore, CA – Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) Deputy Brian Haney died in a single-vehicle crash while driving home from work on Feb. 9.

The Riverside County Fire Department (RCFD) said the 32-year-old deputy was traveling in the 25000-block of Railroad Canyon Road when the crash occurred at approximately 5:15 a.m., KABC reported.

The exact cause of the fatal collision was not immediately known, but video footage from the area showed Deputy Haney’s vehicle slamming into a tree in the median of the roadway.

Deputy Haney succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, KABC reported.

“Our hearts break with the news of the death of our fallen brother, Deputy Brian Haney,” Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a press release later that night. “On behalf of the entire family at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in recognition and honor of Brian.”

Deputy Haney earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in criminal justice and served as a senior airman firefighter in the U.S. Air Force prior to joining the OCSD on Aug. 19, 2016, according to his obituary.

“Brian performed his duties at the Theo Lacy Facility and San Juan Capistrano Police Services, where he was a member of the Critical Incident Response Team,” Sheriff Barnes said.

“His brothers and sisters in our department described him as a quick learner, hard worker, and team player,” the sheriff added. “He was known for his infectious smile, humorous and timely wit, and love for his peers.”

Deputy Haney leaves behind his wife, Leslee, and his one-month-old son, Cole, according to his obituary.

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Howard Hart said he was “both shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the loss of one of our finest…”

“I’m especially devastated to learn that he leaves behind a loving wife and a newborn baby to whom he was returning home when this terrible accident occurred,” Hart said in the press release. “I know my San Juan Capistrano neighbors will join me in prayers of comfort and support for deputy Haney’s family and loved ones.”

A fundraising campaign established to help Deputy Haney’s family in the wake of their loss has raised more than $137,000 so far.

Deputy Haney will be laid to rest on Feb. 23.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Orange County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Brian Haney, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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