Man Must Apologize to Pa. Firefighters, Donate $1,000

A Montgomery County judge ordered a man who drove into flood waters last fall to write letters of apology to the three firefighters he put in danger and make a donation to one of the fire companies that responded.

Donald Pierce drove his minivan around three sets of barricades into a flooded section of Davisville Road on Sept. 8, 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee, according to

Both the Willow Grove and Enterprise fire companies responded after Pierce's vehicle became stranded in the rising waters.

Three Willow Grove firefighters trained in swift-water rescues entered the flooded road. After making halfway to the van in water up to their hips, they were forced to abandon in fear of being swept downstream by the fast-flowing water.

During the second attempt, an Enterprise ladder truck was used and firefighters were able to successfully rescue Pierce.

He was charged with three counts of reckless endangerment and one charge of reckless driving.

Under a plea agreement -- accepted by Judge Garrett D. Page -- the charges were dropped, allowing him to plead guilty to a summary disorderly conduct offense.

The terms of the agreement require him to pay a $300 fine, write letters of apology to the three firefighters and to make a $1,000 contribution to Willow Grove Fire Company.