Fresno Deputy Joshua Lancaster

"A black band crossing his badge for the third time in less than two years, Fresno County Sheriff Richard Pierce struggled to talk Thursday about another deputy killed on duty. Read the story here.

"Mistrial declared in crash that killed deputy, teenager" Read the story here.

Deputy's widow sues city of Sanger
Woman blames police for husband's death.

Joshua Clyde Lancaster died after his sheriff's car was struck by a vehicle being driven by 19-year-old. Heather Lancaster said the decision to file the claim came after months of talking with friends and prayer. But one thing swayed her to take action: Sanger police never apologized. "Not a card of condolence, not a phone call," she said. Read the story here.

Sanger Exempt from Widow's Lawsuit
Deputy's Widow Sites Policy Violations

Sanger police did not notify the Sheriff's Department about the police pursuit so Lancaster, a burglary detective patrolling the Sanger area, was unaware of it.

Attorneys for Heather Lancaster had argued that Sanger's procedure for coordinating operations with other police agencies during pursuits did not meet minimum state standards and that the city's radio communication policy was "virtually nonexistent.

Read the story here.

Memorials for Deputy Joshua Lancaster

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office commemorates the death of Deputy Sheriff Josh Lancaster

On May 29, 2003, Deputy Sheriff Josh Lancaster was killed in the line of duty during a vehicle pursuit. A suspect was evading Sanger Police Officers when he crashed into Josh’s unmarked detective car. The crash happened in southeastern Fresno County in the area of Adams and Maple. The suspect’s fleeing car was traveling in excess of 90 miles an hour when it broadsided Josh’s unmarked patrol vehicle.

The California Peace Officers’ Memorial

He could not have seen it coming. It was totally unexpected. A teen-age driver of a stolen vehicle, with his pregnant teen-age girl friend by his side, being pursued at a high rate of speed by Sanger police struck his unmarked police vehicle broadside on the drivers side, fatally injuring Fresno Co. Deputy Sheriff Joshua C. Lancaster. He died at a local hospital on May 29, 2003. He had just celebrated his 27th birthday on May 10, 2003.

Officer Down Memorial Page

Deputy Lancaster was killed when his unmarked vehicle was broadsided by a stolen car being pursued by a neighboring agency. Deputy Lancaster was pulling away from a stop sign when his vehicle was struck on the driver's side at 0009 hours. The suspect, who was wanted for kidnapping, was estimated to be driving at 90 mph at the time of the collision. The suspect was seriously injured and a pregnant female passenger was also killed.

Deputy Lancaster's Legacy
Deputy Lancaster passed away on May 29, 2003. He was born in Bakersfield, CA. Josh joined the Fresno County Sheriff Department in 2001. Josh loved to restore his hot rods and Harley Davidson motorcycles. After graduating from Foothill High School in Bakersfield, Josh received an Associate of Science Degree at Bakersfield College. After which he graduated from California State University, Fresno CSUF with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminolgy where he was a fraternal member of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI). He was also a member of the California Narcotic Officers Association (CNOA). Josh leaves behind his loving wife, Heather Lancaster; his father, Clyde A. Lancaster and mother, Cathy Slate; his brothers, Jason Lancaster and wife, Stephanie; his sisters, Docia Lancaster and Chelsi Slate. He also leaves behind his stepmother, Ronna Lancaster; stepfather, Danny Slate; and brother, Cody Lancaster. Deputy Lancaster also leaves behind his grandparents, Vernon and Doris Lancaster of Bakersfield, and Ethel Sutterfield also of Bakersfield; He is also survived by his mother and father-in-law, George and Wilma Lusk; and brother-in-law, Matt Lusk all of Bakersfield; and many aunts, uncles and nieces.