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Thursday, December 2, 2010

LODD: LACFD Inmate killed in Line of Duty was son of a community leader

Inmate firefighter killed by 83-year-old driver was son of San Diego's best-known Chicano activist

SAN DIEGO - An inmate firefighter killed in a head-on collision Tuesday when an 83-year-old driver swerved across the road into the path of a Los Angeles County fire vehicle was the son of one of San Diego's best-known Chicano activists.

Fernando Julio Sanchez, 25, was serving time on a drug conviction at Los Angeles County Fire Camp 14.

Sanchez was the son of Isabel and Ramon "Chunky" Sanchez, a founder of Los Alacranes folklorico group and one of several founders of Chicano Park in Barrio Logan.

The 2003 graduate of Garfield High School was a member of the undefeated 2001 CIF champion Mission Bay High School football team when he was a sophomore, his father told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The collision, which also killed the driver of the other vehicle, occurred about 2:10 p.m. Tuesday along rural, two-lane state Route 138, and Sanchez was thrown from the back of the fire rig.

The driver of the Subaru Forester that swerved into the path of the truck was identified as Milton Edward "Ted" Bacon of Gardnerville, Nev. He was a prominent rancher in Carson Valley and a former board member of the National Automobile Museum, which he helped found. He was also an avid car collector.

Eleven inmate firefighters and a county firefighter were treated for injuries.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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