Virginia Firefighter Takes Plea to Lesser Charge in Apparatus Accident Case

A volunteer firefighter in Virginia who was facing reckless driving charges following an apparatus accident, has agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of improper driving. Conor Wright, 25, was driving a Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue engine back to quarters following a run when he swerved to avoid rear-ending a stopped vehicle, and collided with a vehicle coming in the opposite direction.

The November 11, 2021 accident seriously injured a man who had to be flown by helicopter to the hospital. He reportedly was “laid-up” for 111 days and incurred over $100,000 in medical expenses. According to the Northern Virginia Daily, an attorney for the injured man contends that Wright’s engine was traveling at 70 miles per hour. However, the criminal complaint alleged he was traveling at 50 to 60 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone.

The reckless driving charge included a potential sentence of 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. News reports about the plea are not entirely clear, but from what it appears, Wright agreed to pay a $500 fine plus $74 in court costs for the improper driving charge. He also must remain charge-free for a year.

Here is more on the case.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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