Illinois Firefighter Facing Homicide Charges For Fatal Apparatus Accident

A Rockford, Illinois firefighter is facing criminal charges stemming from an apparatus accident that occurred earlier this year.  Miguel Holland, 49, was charged by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide.

The crash on March 6th 2023 killed Marta Esquivias, 56. It occurred at a traffic-light controlled intersection and there is a factual question about whether the 2020 Pierce engine or Esquivias’ Ford Focus had the green light. Holland told investigators the engine had the green light, and that he was travelling at 30 to 35 mph. According to the State’s Attorney, the vehicle data recorder showed it was traveling at 47 mph.

Post-accident blood testing showed Holland’s THC concentration was above the legal limit. If convicted, Holland faces the potential of up to 14 years in prison.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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