At approximately 8:50 p.m. on October 23, 1980, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department helicopter crashed and burned in a vineyard located just north of River Road, ½ mile south of the Sonoma County Airport.
Both the pilot, Deputy Sheriff Brent Jameson and, co-pilot, Deputy Sheriff Bliss Magly, were killed instantly upon impact.
At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, the sheriff’s department helicopter had responded to assist in an earlier incident wherein a California Highway Patrol Officer had been shot at. The helicopter was summoned to assist in an area search of Ludwig Avenue as the suspect had fled into the rural countryside. The Highway Patrol Officer was not injured, and a short time later a suspect identified as Alfredo C. Fernandez, 23, was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
The helicopter was responding back to the Sonoma County Airport when the crash occurred.
Just before the crash, the helicopter crew had been in radio contact with the Sonoma County Airport Tower. The crash occurred only seconds later.
Jameson and his wife, Marcille, resided in Rincon Valley, Santa Rosa. After his death, Jameson’s wife gave birth to their daughter, Julie. He is also survived by his parents, Darol and Veva Jameson; brother, Stephen; and sister, Mary. His parents reside in Petaluma.
Jameson attended St. Vincent Elementary School, St. Vincent High School and graduated in 1968. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College and graduated from there with an Associate Arts degree in 1970. He also had attended the University of San Francisco.
His previous employers included: patrolman for Novato Police Department from July 1971 to July 1974; appointed as deputy sheriff on July 29, 1974 for Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department; resident deputy for the North Coast and Central Coast Area from 1975-1978; assigned to Main Office of the Sheriff’s Department Patrol Division from 1978-1979; relief helicopter observer from 1978-1979; chief observer (full time) effective February 24, 1979; received his advanced certificate from the California Peace Officers Standards and Training.