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Firefighter Guilty

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  • Firefighter Guilty

    Fairfield firefighter found guilty of vehicular manslaughter
    Judge suspends 90-day jail sentence, issues $750

    By Michael D. Pitman

    Staff Writer

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield firefighter was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter Tuesday in the August death of a 73-year-old woman.

    Matt Schumann, 24, was sentenced to 90 days in jail suspended pending two years of probation, a $750 fine, a 90-day drivers' license suspension, 250 hours of community service and counseling until he is released by a physician.

    Fairfield firefighter Matt Schumann was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter by Fairfield Municipal Judge Joyce Campbell Tuesday. Schumann's 90-day jail term was suspended, but will have two years probation, pay a $750 fine and must report to a counselor. He has also been suspended for 30 days from the Fairfield Fire Department.
    Shumann also received a 30-day suspension from the fire department, which started 7 a.m. Tuesday, Fire Chief Don Bennett said.

    "You can pay tribute to her by carrying on you life in an exemplary manner," Fairfield Municipal Judge Joyce Campbell said of the deceased woman.

    On Aug. 2, just after 2 p.m., Schumann was driving a fire truck north on Ohio 4 responding to a reported structure fire with the vehicle's lights and siren activated. The fire truck and a car driven by Rayann Cavin collided in the Michael Lane intersection. Police said the signal there should have given Schumann a green light and stopped other traffic. Instead, the light malfunctioned and signaled both Schumann and Cavin to go through.

    Fairfield Law Director John Clemmons said he agreed with Campbell's punishment.

    "This resolves the criminal charges, I think appropriately," Clemmons said. "The city is comfortable with the outcome and sentencing, and think it's appropriate."

    Defense attorney Harrison Green said the light had malfunctioned days prior to the accident. He wanted to use that information in a jury trial that was scheduled for Friday. However, Green said the judge ruled that information, along with the fire department's rules and procedures, was irrelevant.

    "We were in a difficult position to defend," he said. "We acknowledge the accident and the fact someone died. We disagree with the judge's comment it was a lapse of judgement because that's not factual."

    Green does not know if he will file an appeal of the judge's decision.

    Cavin's family attorney Jeffrey Bakst commented on their behalf.

    "It's been a very, very difficult time for them and they have truly suffered," Bakst said.
    _________________
    Think first and be safe. Your family wants to hold you, not a folded flag.

    Proud member of the Patriot Guard Riders

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chiefy View Post
    Fairfield firefighter found guilty of vehicular manslaughter
    Judge suspends 90-day jail sentence, issues $750

    By Michael D. Pitman

    Staff Writer

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield firefighter was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter Tuesday in the August death of a 73-year-old woman.

    Matt Schumann, 24, was sentenced to 90 days in jail suspended pending two years of probation, a $750 fine, a 90-day drivers' license suspension, 250 hours of community service and counseling until he is released by a physician.

    Fairfield firefighter Matt Schumann was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter by Fairfield Municipal Judge Joyce Campbell Tuesday. Schumann's 90-day jail term was suspended, but will have two years probation, pay a $750 fine and must report to a counselor. He has also been suspended for 30 days from the Fairfield Fire Department.
    Shumann also received a 30-day suspension from the fire department, which started 7 a.m. Tuesday, Fire Chief Don Bennett said.

    "You can pay tribute to her by carrying on you life in an exemplary manner," Fairfield Municipal Judge Joyce Campbell said of the deceased woman.

    On Aug. 2, just after 2 p.m., Schumann was driving a fire truck north on Ohio 4 responding to a reported structure fire with the vehicle's lights and siren activated. The fire truck and a car driven by Rayann Cavin collided in the Michael Lane intersection. Police said the signal there should have given Schumann a green light and stopped other traffic. Instead, the light malfunctioned and signaled both Schumann and Cavin to go through.

    Fairfield Law Director John Clemmons said he agreed with Campbell's punishment.

    "This resolves the criminal charges, I think appropriately," Clemmons said. "The city is comfortable with the outcome and sentencing, and think it's appropriate."

    Defense attorney Harrison Green said the light had malfunctioned days prior to the accident. He wanted to use that information in a jury trial that was scheduled for Friday. However, Green said the judge ruled that information, along with the fire department's rules and procedures, was irrelevant.

    "We were in a difficult position to defend," he said. "We acknowledge the accident and the fact someone died. We disagree with the judge's comment it was a lapse of judgement because that's not factual."

    Green does not know if he will file an appeal of the judge's decision.

    Cavin's family attorney Jeffrey Bakst commented on their behalf.

    "It's been a very, very difficult time for them and they have truly suffered," Bakst said.
    _________________

    Not fpr nothing, but if both had a green light how can one person be more guilty than the other? And not for nothing, but before you enter an intersection you are supposed to look to make sure it is clear, green light or not. The fire apparatus obviously had the right of way, the woman failed to yield. I feel bad that she died becasue of this, but she was in the wrong.

    I also understand the need to drive with due regard. If I have a green light I'm not really going to expect someone to pull out.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HotTrotter View Post
      Not fpr nothing, but if both had a green light how can one person be more guilty than the other?
      According to other sources, the article is in error. The fire truck had a red light.

      The traffic pre-emption device that should have changed it to green did not and the truck entered the intersection at 58 mph on a red light.

      (Presumably the driver was expecting the light to change in his favor and was unprepared to stop when it didn't.)

      This case should set a sobering example for every apparatus operator out there. Don't rely on traffic pre-emption systems. Ultimately the driver is always responsible.
      "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
      sigpic
      The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
        According to other sources, the article is in error. The fire truck had a red light.

        The traffic pre-emption device that should have changed it to green did not and the truck entered the intersection at 58 mph on a red light.

        (Presumably the driver was expecting the light to change in his favor and was unprepared to stop when it didn't.)

        This case should set a sobering example for every apparatus operator out there. Don't rely on traffic pre-emption systems. Ultimately the driver is always responsible.
        Well then, that changes things considerably. Looks like the department needs to spend a little more time doing driver training and defensive driving classes. And really!!!! 58mph through an intersection, what the hell was he thinking? Sounds to me like the boy got off easy.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm sure others have noticed the trend that the courts are holding us more and more accountable for our actions? No more of the "the fire truck/ambulance had the right-of-way because they had lights and sirens on" defense.

          Not only situations regarding traffic accidents, but training scenerios and other incidents as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            If the driver of the apparatus entered an intersection against a red light at 58mph, shame on the driver. If that is the case, then this case is pretty legitimate in my opinion.
            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

            Comment


            • #7
              If indeed the light was red for the engine then we are at fault, plain and simple.
              We have to start driving with due reguard, people drive bad, we all know this so it is up to us to anticipate, react and watchout for those who are not smart enough to watch out for themselves.
              It is a ****ty deal but that is the hand we are delt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does anyone have a link to that other source?

                Comment


                • #9
                  58 mph?! I might be out of line here but I don't think I even get my truck up to 58 going down a stretch of rural highway let alone through an intersection. If that speed report is true, I hope everyone in the fire service re-evaluates what they're doing when responding to a call.
                  SFPD Member MABAS Division 47
                  Told my wife I'm at work. Told my boss I'm sick. I'm really at the fire station.
                  I.A.C.O.J.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DFW333 View Post
                    Does anyone have a link to that other source?
                    I've lost track of some of the earlier reports but here are some ather articles with additional details:

                    http://www.wcpo.com/news/2006/local/...r_charges.html

                    http://www.wcpo.com/news/2006/local/...firetruck.html

                    http://www.journal-news.com/hp/conte...humannweb.html

                    http://www.fairfield-echo.com/hp/con...chumann_s.html
                    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                    sigpic
                    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I find it VERY hard to believe that the traffic signal gave two conflicting phases a green light.
                      Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        People can be in shock all they want because of this verdict, but it all comes down to what everyone else has all ready said, DUE REGARD. thats the first thing that is taught to someone when they are learning about becomming a driver.
                        Your a daisy if you do.

                        Comment

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