Family of Firefighter Killed by Fire Truck Wants Charges Against Driver Dropped

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) -- The family of a man who died when he was run over by a fire truck urged police to not pursue charges against the driver, saying the incident was an accident.

``We are against the charges,'' said Beverly Vinisky, the mother of David Vinisky, who was killed Aug. 25. ``I always thought a crime was something you do against a person or property on purpose. An accident is an accident. Everybody in our family feels that way.''

Frank Brocklebank, 40, of Raccoon Township, was charged Tuesday with causing a fatal accident while not properly licensed, a felony.

Brocklebank was behind the wheel of a new fire truck at the Raccoon Township Volunteer Fire Department when he backed over Vinisky and another firefighter as they were taking pictures of the truck, authorities said.

Brocklebank checked the truck's mirrors before trying to back the truck into the fire station's garage, but didn't see Vinisky and Jim Davidson, authorities said. Authorities do not believe his medical condition, which has not been made public, was a factor.

Vinisky, 49, of Raccoon Township, was pronounced dead shortly after he was stuck. Davidson was treated and released from the hospital for cuts and bruises.

Raccoon Police Chief David Garber declined to comment.

Although Brocklebank lost his license a year ago, he was permitted to drive on the department's property. The case falls into a gray area of the state's Vehicle Code, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported for Saturday's paper.

Under state law, suspended drivers can drive on private property, but the vehicle code lists driveways and parking lots of political subdivisions or agencies as public thoroughfares.


Pennslyvania Firefighter Hit, Killed By Fire Truck