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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CAL FIRE BDU Chief Charged in Fatal Accident - Texting while driving

 Calif. fire chief charged in fatal crash

Chief Timothy John McClelland has been charged with vehicular manslaughter with "Gross Negligence" 

By Brian Rokos - The Press Enterprise

Update: When Timothy McClelland, chief of Cal Fire’s San Bernardino unit, was charged Feb. 26 with vehicular manslaughter, the charge came with the notation that the crime was committed with gross negligence when he rear-ended another vehicle on Highway 210 last August, the CHP said. the reason for gross negligence was Texting while driving
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The chief of Cal Fire's San Bernardino unit was charged Tuesday, Feb. 26, with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in connection with a collision Aug. 1, 2012, in which he rear-ended another vehicle while driving a Cal Fire pickup.
Timothy John McClelland, 48, was charged with a misdemeanor count in the death of Gregory Francis Kirwin, 48, of Banning. McClelland is due to be arraigned April 10 in Superior Court in San Bernardino.
"It's a tragedy for everyone involved," Cal Fire spokeswoman Julie Hutchinson said.
McClelland remains on duty. He has been reassigned to administrative projects in the Southern Region office in Riverside. Hutchinson said Cal Fire won't begin an internal review of the crash until after the legal case concludes.
A message left for McClelland seeking comment was not returned.
San Bernardino County district attorney's office spokesman Christopher Lee said the court website that lists the charge as a felony is in error.
McClelland was driving a white 2005 Cal Fire Chevrolet 1500 east on Highway 210 west of Del Rosa Avenue in Highland when it rear-ended a red 2001 Ford Focus, the CHP said. Kirwin died at the scene.
Kirwin's car rear-ended a silver 2003 Chevrolet Impala, the CHP said. At the time, the CHP said, it was unclear which collision happened first. The Impala had been slowing because of traffic congestion, according to the preliminary investigation.
The Cal Fire pickup sustained major front-end damage. McClelland and the Impala's driver, Kenneth Bietz, 51, of Yucaipa, suffered only minor injuries, the CHP said.
McClelland is a Beaumont resident and a 27-year veteran of Cal Fire. He joined the department in 1985 as a seasonal firefighter in Riverside County and took command in May 2011 of the San Bernardino Unit, which encompasses all of San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono counties, Cal Fire said.
Copyright 2013 The Press Enterprise, Inc.

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