SAN BERNARDINO, California – Gregory Kirwin, 48, of Banning was killed Wednesday evening in a three-vehicle traffic collision on Interstate 210 freeway just west of Del Rosa Avenue, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff Coroner report.
According to the report, Mr. Kirwin was the driver of a red 2004 Ford Focus traveling eastbound n the No. 1 lane of the freeway about 5:07 p.m. when he was rear-ended by a large pickup truck. The impact may have caused him to smash into the back of silver 2003 Chevrolet Impala, but investigators have not yet determined the sequence of the chain-reaction collision. Mr. Kirwin was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck. The driver of the Chevrolet, Kenneth Bietz, 51, of Yucaipa sustained minor injuries in the crash.
California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash to determine exactly how it happened, but there have been no arrests or citations reported.
According to a Press Enterprise news report, the 2005 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck that struck Mr. Kirwin was driven by Cal Fire Chief Timothy McClelland, 48, of Beaumont. Traffic began to slow down just before the crash, the news report said. The story also noted that the fire department’s pickup truck had major front-end damage.
Anyone who witnessed the crash may call CHP dispatchers at 909-428-5400.
“This heavy-duty pickup truck sustained serious front-end damage indicative that the driver could have been traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Attorney West Seegmiller. “A complete police investigation will help to determine the driver’s likely speed, however, an outside expert may be required for an unbiased opinion.”
Whenever there is a case involving a government employee the state may be ultimately held liable for the actions of its employee, but a lawsuit must be filed against them immediately as there are shorter statutes of limitations on claims against government entities, Seegmiller added.
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