$15,000,000: Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Two Killed in Rear-End Accident Involving Cal Fire Truck

CASE DESCRIPTION:

On Aug. 1, 2012, Defendant CalFire Chief Timothy M., who was driving a state vehicle within the course and scope of his employment, was heading east on I-210 in Highland when he changed lanes as traffic slowed. He rear-ended the car driven by Gregory K. at 70 miles per hour (mph), pinning the car against the center guardrail. The impact also caused Gregory K.’s vehicle to immediately rear-end a Chevrolet Impala that had slowed for traffic. Gregory K. died on the scene while the other two drivers suffered minor injuries. Daughters Amethyst and Belle K. (ages four and seven at time of the accident), sued for wrongful death negligence. Timothy M. was also criminally charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

FINAL RESULT:

$15,000,000 settlement

PLAINTIFF’S CONTENTIONS AS TO LIABILITY:

The California Highway Patrol said Defendant had been texting a few minutes before the crash and had been talking on his phone using a hands-free device immediately before the collision.

DEFENDANT’S CONTENTIONS AS TO LIABILITY:

Defendant did not dispute liability but did dispute criminal charges.

TYPE OF CASE:

Auto v. Truck; Wrongful Death

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT:

2011 in San Bernardino, CA

DECEDENT AGE:

48

PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEY:

RICHARD A. COHN

AITKEN * AITKEN * COHN

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Riverside, CA 92504
(951) 534-4006

MEDIA COVERAGE:

San Bernardino Sun

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20130226/cal-fire-unit-chief-timothy-john-mcclelland-charged-in-fatal-crash

Riverside Press Enterprise

http://www.pe.com/articles/kirwin-675503-mcclelland-state.html

Riverside Press Enterprise

http://www.pe.com/articles/mcclelland-695831-kirwin-cal.html

ABC7

https://abc7.com/archive/9009725/

LA Daily News

http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20141004/distracted-driving-on-the-rise-for-police-fire-and-ambulance-drivers