KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An arbitrator ruled that a Kansas City firefighter lied to police after he drove through a red light and crashed into several vehicles, killing three people last year.
Judge Miles Sweeney said in a summary of his findings that was filed in court Friday the evidence from eyewitnesses, traffic cameras and the scene of the crash showed that Dominic Biscari didn’t slow down as he approached the intersection in a 40,000-pound fire engine or slam on the brakes when he saw an SUV pull in front of him like he told investigators, according to the Kansas City Star.
The fire truck collided with the SUV and pushed it through the intersection before continuing into several parked cars and smashing into a building. Two people in the SUV and a pedestrian who was about to enter a vehicle died. And the upper floor of the brick building that the fire truck struck collapsed, burying the pedestrian in a pile of rubble.
The crash last Dec. 15 happened about one minute after dispatchers told the fire crew to stand down.
Sweeney recommended that Biscari pay the families of the victims and the owner of the destroyed building $32 million. Another judge will have to approve that order before it becomes final. A separate civil lawsuit against the fire department and the city remains pending.
Sweeney said Biscari violated fire department policies when he drove roughly 15 miles per hour above the speed limit just before the fatal crash.
Sweeney said department officials had notice about Biscari’s “dangerous and reckless driving of KCFD vehicles” because of an email a coworker sent to fire officials about three months before the fatal crash raising concerns about his driving. The employee told supervisors that she was no longer comfortable riding with Biscari because he accelerated to 70 mph when it wasn’t necessary while they were transporting a critically ill patient.
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