1. #1
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    Post Remember the VAN crash????

    PARACHUTE, Colo. (AP) - Families of some of the firefighters
    killed or injured in a van crash while headed to fight a Colorado
    wildfire want the charges against the driver dropped.
    But the parents of one of the firefighters who died - Carroll
    College student Zachary Zigich of Twin Falls, Idaho - want Megan
    Helm held accountable.
    Helm, 21, of La Grande, Ore., is charged with multiple counts of
    careless driving causing death or bodily injury. She has pleaded
    innocent.
    A hearing in the case is scheduled in Garfield County District
    Court Oct. 23.
    Helm was driving the van of firefighters headed to the Hayman
    fire in central Colorado on June 21 when the vehicle rolled on
    Interstate 70 near Parachute.
    Four people were killed instantly, and a fifth died of his
    injuries three days later. Two more were seriously injured.
    They all worked for Grayback Forestry, based in Merlin, Ore.,
    which provides fire crews and equipment to the U.S. Forest Service
    and other agencies.
    "Megan Helm is also a victim of this accident and will carry
    the memory of those fallen firefighters and friends for the rest of
    her life," lawyer James Pippin wrote in a recent letter to
    District Attorney Mac Myers.
    Trying Helm would compound the psychological wounds from the
    accident, Pippin said.
    The letter was written on behalf of Patrick Shorre, 25, of
    LaGrande, Ore., who was injured; and the families of Daniel Rama,
    28, and Retha Mae Shirley, 19, both of Baker City, Ore., and
    Bartholomew Bailey, 20, of Corvallis, Ore.
    Another Oregon attorney, Bill Gaylord, wrote a similar letter on
    behalf of Anthony Kyle of LaGrande, who was injured.
    The parents of Zigich, 20, said they will continue to press for
    prosecution in their son's death. Michael Zigich said he and his
    wife, Angie, have learned from piecing together their own
    investigation that Helm allegedly was not driving responsibly
    before the accident.
    Helm and the family of dead firefighter, Jacob Martindale, 20,
    of Boise, Idaho, couldn't be reached for comment. Jeff Cheney,
    Garfield deputy district attorney, declined to comment on the case.
    The families and victims who want the charges dismissed are
    preparing to sue Ford Motor Co. Some safety experts say the type of
    Ford van Helm was driving has a high center of gravity and is prone
    to rollover accidents.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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  2. #2
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    Default

    The families and victims who want the charges dismissed are preparing to sue Ford Motor Co
    Sounds all too familiar. Let's not hold the person responsible for the accident accountable, let's go after someone bigger with more money.

    Condolences to the families for their losses and best wishes for speedy recovery for the injured.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  3. #3
    iceman4442
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    Default

    I gotta agree with bones - it can't possibly be the driver's responsibility, let's sue the company who made the van!

    Typical attitude these days!

    If I operate my 44,000 pound Pierce without due regard for the safety of others, and something bad happens, it's obviously Pierce's fault!

    Sorry, rant mode now being deactivated!


  4. #4
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    Post Update

    LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) - Families of firefighters killed and
    injured last summer when a van overturned on the way to a Colorado
    wildfire are among those asking prosecutors to pardon for the La
    Grande woman who was driving.
    The van was loaded with 11 firefighters on June 21 when it
    overturned on Interstate 70 near Parachute, Colo. Driver Megan
    Helm, 21, had minor injuries, but four firefighters were killed and
    a fifth died of injuries three days later.
    Helm has pleaded innocent to multiple charges of careless
    driving causing death. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in
    Garfield County District Court in Rifle, Colo., at which time a
    trial date could be set.
    Colorado police said Helm may have been reaching for something
    when the van veered left onto the median. Police say she tried to
    bring it back under control and overcorrected. The van rolled four
    times, ejecting five firefighters.
    Some of the injured firefighters were critical of Helm after the
    accident and some survivors of the dead were also angry at her.
    Since then, criticism has largely shifted to the 15-passenger
    Ford Econoline E-350 Super Duty van. The National Highway Traffic
    Safety Administration reported that rollover rates of stretch vans
    manufactured by Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge are three times
    those of regular vans when carrying 10 or more passengers.
    Firefighter Brandon Fiala, 22, of Twin Falls, Idaho - who
    suffered fractures to his back, neck and pelvis - was initially
    critical of Helm.
    He submitted a victim's statement saying Helm "should be
    prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
    On Nov. 19, Fiala amended that statement. He wrote a letter to
    Colorado prosecutors, asking for the charges to be dismissed.
    "I cannot blame Megan when the vehicle she was driving was
    statistically much more likely to roll than any other vehicle,"
    wrote Fiala.
    Fiala's attorney, James Pippin of Lake Oswego, said if the van
    had been almost any other vehicle, Helm would have been able to
    maneuver it back onto the highway. "She lives with the scars and
    memories of this," he said. "You have to ask yourself, what good
    could possibly come from a criminal prosecution?"
    Pippin's law firm, Pippin and Bocci, and attorney Bill Gaylord
    of Portland are preparing to file suit against Ford Motor Co. on
    behalf of the families, the attorneys said. Pippin and Bocci
    represent the families of Daniel Rama, 28, and Retha Mae Shirley,
    19, both of Baker City; Jake Martindale, 20, of Boise; and
    Bartholomew Bailey, 20, of Corvallis, all of whom were killed, said
    Pippin. The firm also represents injured firefighter Patrick
    Shorre, 25, of La Grande.
    Gaylord represents another injured firefighter, Anthony D. Kyle,
    32, of La Grande.
    Pippin said most of those he represents have written letters
    similar to Fiala's seeking dismissal of the charges against Helm.
    Jeff Cheney, assistant Garfield County district attorney, had
    little to say about the Helm case.
    "We are in the midst of going through the process, and the
    process has to be free from either side trying to try the case in
    the media," he said.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  5. #5
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    Default Details?

    I didn't catch this when it happened, what were the details surrounding the crash? Speed, driving conditions, and what actually happened?
    ~*Chris McCown*~
    FireFighter / Rescue Sergeant / NREMT-P

  6. #6
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    Post

    LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) - An Idaho firefighter injured last summer
    when a van overturned on the way to a Colorado wildfire is among
    those asking prosecutors to pardon the La Grande woman who was
    driving.
    The van was loaded with 11 firefighters on June 21 when it
    overturned on Interstate 70 near Parachute, Colo. Driver Megan
    Helm, 21, had minor injuries, but four firefighters were killed and
    a fifth died of injuries three days later.
    Helm has pleaded innocent to multiple charges of careless
    driving causing death. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in
    Garfield County District Court in Rifle, Colo., at which time a
    trial date could be set.
    Colorado police said Helm may have been reaching for something
    when the van veered left onto the median. Police say she tried to
    bring it back under control and overcorrected. The van rolled four
    times, ejecting five firefighters.
    Some of the injured firefighters were critical of Helm after the
    accident and some survivors of the dead were also angry at her.
    Since then, criticism has largely shifted to the 15-passenger
    Ford Econoline E-350 Super Duty van. The National Highway Traffic
    Safety Administration reported that rollover rates of stretch vans
    manufactured by Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge are three times
    those of regular vans when carrying 10 or more passengers.
    Firefighter Brandon Fiala, 22, of Twin Falls, Idaho - who
    suffered fractures to his back, neck and pelvis - was initially
    critical of Helm.
    He submitted a victim's statement saying Helm "should be
    prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
    On Nov. 19, Fiala amended that statement. He wrote a letter to
    Colorado prosecutors, asking for the charges to be dismissed.
    "I cannot blame Megan when the vehicle she was driving was
    statistically much more likely to roll than any other vehicle,"
    wrote Fiala.
    Fiala's attorney, James Pippin of Lake Oswego, said if the van
    had been almost any other vehicle, Helm would have been able to
    maneuver it back onto the highway. "She lives with the scars and
    memories of this," he said. "You have to ask yourself, what good
    could possibly come from a criminal prosecution?"
    Pippin's law firm, Pippin and Bocci, and attorney Bill Gaylord
    of Portland are preparing to file suit against Ford Motor Co. on
    behalf of the families, the attorneys said. Pippin and Bocci
    represent the families of Daniel Rama, 28, and Retha Mae Shirley,
    19, both of Baker City; Jake Martindale, 20, of Boise; and
    Bartholomew Bailey, 20, of Corvallis, all of whom were killed, said
    Pippin. The firm also represents injured firefighter Patrick
    Shorre, 25, of La Grande.
    Gaylord represents another injured firefighter, Anthony D. Kyle,
    32, of La Grande.
    Pippin said most of those he represents have written letters
    similar to Fiala's seeking dismissal of the charges against Helm.
    Jeff Cheney, assistant Garfield County district attorney, had
    little to say about the Helm case.
    "We are in the midst of going through the process, and the
    process has to be free from either side trying to try the case in
    the media," he said.


    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Details?

    Originally posted by CoolDre
    I didn't catch this when it happened, what were the details surrounding the crash? Speed, driving conditions, and what actually happened?
    I can't say that I ever saw the actual details on conditions...however, here is a link to the original post.

    Van Crash
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

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    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  8. #8
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    Default

    Helm may have been reaching for something when the van veered left onto the median. Police say she tried to bring it back under control and overcorrected.
    and yet, this is the van's fault? I lose control (whatever happened to two hands on the wheel?), I over-correct, van flips. How is this the van's fault? This goes along the lines of buying hot coffee and suing because it's hot. Yes, I know, she won that suit, but it is just assanine.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  9. #9
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    Unhappy More posturing taking place...

    (Rifle, Colorado-AP) -- There's another delay in the trial of
    the young woman from Oregon charged in the deaths of five fellow
    firefighters after she lost control of the van she was driving en
    route to fight a fire in Colorado.
    A judge approved the delay yesterday.
    Defense attorneys are awaiting reports sought under the U-S
    Freedom of Information Act, to provide more details about the
    safety of the 15-passenger Ford Econoline E-350 Super Duty van that
    21-year-old Megan Helm, of La Grande, was driving that day.
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported
    that rollover rates of stretch vans built by U-S automakers are
    three times higher than the rate for standard vans when carrying
    ten or more passengers.
    The Ford van Helm was driving was loaded with eleven
    firefighters when it overturned on the freeway.
    Four were killed and a fifth died three days later. Five others
    were injured.

    (La Grande Observer)

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  10. #10
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    Post Continued

    RIFLE, Colo. (AP) - A hearing was continued Wednesday for the
    young woman charged in the deaths of five fellow firefighters after
    she lost control of the van she was driving to a Colorado wildfire
    last summer.
    Megan Helm, 21, of La Grande, Ore., has pleaded innocent to 10
    counts of careless driving causing death or serious injury in the
    June 21 accident on Interstate 70 near Parachute. The charges are
    misdemeanors but carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
    The arraignment was continued until Feb. 23 so attorneys can
    have time to discuss a possible plea agreement, and possibly
    arrange travel for the parties, according to a spokeswoman for
    Garfield County District.
    The hearing had already been delayed once while attorneys waited
    for reports sought under the U.S. Freedom Information Act to
    provide details about the safety of the 15-passenger Ford Econoline
    E-350 Super Duty van.
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said
    rollover rates of stretch vans built by U.S. automakers are three
    times higher than the rate for standard vans when carrying 10 or
    more passengers.
    The Ford van Helm was driving was loaded with 11 firefighters
    when it overturned on the freeway. Four were killed and a fifth
    died three days later. Five others were injured.
    The Grayback Forestry crew was heading for duty on the
    137,000-acre Hayman Fire.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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